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1     i     MSB 




Da  spatium  tennemque  moram,  male  cuncta  ministrat 

Statii  Theb.     Lib.  X. 

W  A  R  W  I  C  K 

Printed   at    the   Shakespeare   Printing   Press,    High    Street, 
by  H.  T.  Cooke  and  Son.     1863. 

2  oYt*/-  .%s*J>  I'06 


The  curious  MS.  which  is  now  first  printed,  was  purchased  by 
me  some  years  ago  from  a  Bookseller's  Catalogue.  It  is  written  through- 
out with  great  neatness,  and  bound  in  old  calf.  There  is  a  paper  amongst 
the  Sloane  MSS.  (No.  529)  which  contains  a  portion  of  the  Observations, 
but  in  a  condensed  form ;  and  there  is  in  the  possession  of  J.  H.  Aveling, 
Esq ,  M.D.,  of  Sheffield,  a  MS.  resembling  mine,  both  in  the  handwriting 
and  the  binding,  though  in  some  respects  it  is  not  quite  so  complete.  I 
am  indebted  to  Dr.  Aveling  for  his  courtesy  and  kindness  in  allowing  me 
to  compare  his  MS.  with  mine. 

My  thanks  are  also  due  to  several  other  members  of  the  medical 
profession,  and  especially  to  William  Munk,  Esq.,  M.D.,  the  learned 
compiler  of  The  Roll  of  the  Royal  College  of  Physicians  of  London,  for  their 
assistance  in  my  endeavours  to  obtain  information  respecting  the  life  of 
Percival  Willughby. 


I  regret  that  the  result  has  been  so  unsatisfactory.  Repeated 
attacks  of  illness  have,  during  the  last  two  years,  prevented  me  from 
pursuing  the  subject  further,  and  have  delayed  the  publication  of  this  book 
so  long,  that  I  feel  I  cannot  offer  sufficient  apologies  to  those  gentlemen 
who  have  kindly  sent  in  their  names  as  subscribers. 

I  venture  to  hope  that  the  volume  so  long  promised  will  be  an 
acceptable  addition  to  the  libraries  of  my  professional  brethren. 



SCION  of  two  ancient  and  illustrious  families,  a 
Physician  of  great  repute,  actively  engaged  in  the 
practice  of  Midwifery  in  the  Counties  of  Derby 
and  Stafford,  and  in  London,  for  half  a  century, 
Percival  Willughby  has  nevertheless  left  behind  him  no  materials  from 
which  a  complete  biography  can  be  compiled.  The  personal  information 
respecting  him  is  fragmentary  and  unsatisfactory.  He  was  born  in  the  year 
1596,  and  was,  as  Dr.  Denman  remarks  in  the  Preface  to  his  Introduction 
to  the  Practice  of  Midivifery,  "one  of  the  six  sons  of  Sir  Percival  Willughby, 
and  grandson  of  Sir  Francis,  so  famous  in  the  time  of  Queen  Elizabeth." 
He  was  in  fact  the  sixth  son  of  Sir  Percival,  and  as  appears  from  a  MS. 
pedigree  of  the  family,  was  uncle  to  the  celebrated  Francis  Willughby,  the 
Naturalist.  Sir  Francis  Willughby,  who  was  born  in  1547,  and  who  built 
Wollaton  Hall,  in  Nottinghamshire,  married  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  Sir 
John  Littleton,  of  Frankley,  and  by  her  had  five  daughters,  the  eldest  of 
whom,  Bridget,  married  Sir  Percival  Willughby,  of  the  house  of  Eresby. 
Sir  Percival  Willughby  and  Bridget  his  wife  had  issue  five  daughters  and 
six  sons.     The  fourth  son,  Sir  Francis  Willughby,  Knight,  was  the  father 

Biographical    Notice. 

of  the  Naturalist,  whose  son,  Sir  Francis,  the  first  Baronet  of  the  family, 
dying  unmarried,  was  succeeded  by  Thomas,  his  brother  and  heir,  who,  in 
1711,  was  created  the  first  Baron  Middle  ton.  The  sixth  son  was  Percival. 
It  is  a  curious  circumstance  in  connection  with  the  future  pursuits  of  our 
author  Percival,  that  his  father  and  mother,  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
prayed  for  a  writ  "de  ventre  inspiciendo"  against  Dorothy,  the  second  wife 
and  widow  of  Sir  Francis  Willughby,  of  Wollaton,  which  Dorothy  alleged 
herself  to  be  with  child  by  Sir  Francis. 

The  proceedings  in  the  case  are  so  curious,  that   we  make  no 
apology  for  inserting  the  following  extract  from  the  old  Law  Eeports  : — 


"  Percival  Willoughby,  and  Bridget  his  wife,  one  of  the  co-heirs  of 
Sir  Francis  Willoughby,  (because  Sir  Francis  Willoughby  died  seized  of  a 
great  inheritance,  having  five  daughters,  whereof  the  eldest  was  married  to 
Percival  Willoughby,  and  not  any  son ;  and  the  said  Sir  Francis,  leaving  his 
wife  Dorothy,  who,  at  the  time  of  his  death,  pretended  herself  to  be  with 
child  by  Sir  Francis,  which,  if  it  were  a  son,  all  the  five  sisters  should 
thereby  lose  the  inheritance  descended  unto  them,)  prayed  a  writ  de  ventre 
inspiciendo  out  of  the  Chancery  directed  to  the  Sheriff  of  London,  that  he 
should  cause  the  said  Dorothy  to  be  viewed  by  twelve  knights,  and  searched 
by  twelve  women,  in  the  presence  of  the  twelve  knights,  and  ad  tractandum 
per  ubera  and  ventrem  inspiciend,  whether  she  were  with  child,  and  to 
certify  the  same  unto  the  Common  Bench.     And  if  she  were  with  child,  to 

Biographical   Notice. 

certify  for  how  long  time  in  their  judgments  and  quando  sit  paritura. 
Whereupon  the  Sheriff  accordingly  caused  her  to  be  searched,  and  returned 
that  she  was  twenty  weeks  gone  with  child,  and  that  within  twenty  weeks 
fuit  paritura.  Whereupon  another  writ  issued  out  of  the  Common  Bench, 
commanding  the  Sheriff  safely  to  keep  her  in  such  an  house,  and  that  the 
doors  should  be  well  guarded,  and  that  every  day  he  should  cause  her  to  be 
viewed  by  some  of  the  women  named  in  the  writ,  (wherein  ten  were  named), 
and  when  she  should  be  delivered,  that  some  of  them  should  be  with  her,  to 
view  her  birth,  whether  it  be  male  or  female,  to  the  intent  there  should  not 
be  any  falsity.  And  upon  this  writ  the  Sheriff  returned — That  accordingly 
he  had  caused  her  to  be  kept,  &c.  And  that  such  a  day  she  was  delivered 
of  a  daughter. '     See  Groke's  Elizabeth,  London,  1669,  p.  566. 

We  have  not  been  able  to  procure  any  information  respecting  the 
early  life  of  Percival  Willughby,  except  that  he  received  a  first-rate  education, 
the  expense  of  which  his  father  could  ill  afford  ;  and  that  he  was  a  lad  of  great 
industry.  Percival  and  his  brothers,  Thomas  and  Henry,  were  first  sent  to 
school  at  Trowbridge,  and  from  thence  were  removed  to  Rugby.  They  were 
afterwards  removed  to  Eton,  and  finally,  all  three  were  sent  to  complete 
their  education  at  Oxford.  The  master  of  the  school  at  Rugby  wrote  several 
letters  to  Sir  Percival,  in  which  he  commended  them  all  for  their  great 
industry.  These  particulars  appear  in  a  MS.  account  of  the  Willughby 
family,  formerly  in  the  library  at  Stowe,  written  by  Cassandra  Willughby, 
the  second  wife  of  James,  the  first  Duke  of  Chandos.  This  MS.  in  so  far  as 
it  relates  to  our  author  Percival,  appears  to  have  been  compiled  from  letters 

Biographical    Notice. 

and  papers  which  were  in  the  libi'ary  at  Wollaton,  and  we  extract  from  it  the 
following  interesting  particulars  : — 

"  While  Sir  Percival  was  thus  grievously  oppressed  with  the  want 
of  money,  his  son  Henry,  and  his  son  Percival  (who  were  at  Trinity  College, 
in  Oxford)  suffered  under  the  same  calamity. 

There  are,  in  the  library  at  Wollaton,  several  letters  written  from 
Oxford,  by  Percival  Willughby  to  his  father,  in  which  he  very  generously 
expressed  his  concern  for  the  expence  which  Sir  Percival  was  at,  to  maintain 
him  at  Oxford,  and  his  desire  to  free  him  from  that  charge. 

There  is  a  letter  from  him  to  Sir  Percival,  dated  January,  1619,  in 
which  he  writ  that  now  a  fair  opportunity  offered  itself,  for  his  uncle  Robert 
Willughby  had  proposed  his  being  placed  with  Mr.  Feames  Van  Otten,  who, 
for  a  hundred  pounds,  offered  to  keep  him  seven  years,  and  to  teach  him 
Music,  Physic,  and  Surgery ;  and  had  promised  to  use  him  like  a  son,  main- 
tain him  like  a  gentleman,  and  allow  him  the  free  use  of  his  study,  and  to 
teach  him  the  secrets  of  physic  :  that  under  him  he  should  have  time  for  his 
own  private  studies,  and  to  keep  his  public  exercises  as  before.  And  after 
this,  his  Uncle  Eobert  had  promised  that  he  should  live  with  him,  and  that 
he  would  bring  him  into  his  business. 

In  other  letters,  Percival  Willughby  earnestly  pressed  his  father  to 
consent  to  this  offer,  and  not  to  scruple  his  being  so  placed,  as  thinking  it  an 
undervaluing  to  him,  for,  with  God's  blessing,  he  did  not  doubt  but  the 
profession  of  Physic  would  make  him  more   happy  than   his  two  eldest 

Biographical    Notice. 


brothers  ;  and  by  the  help  of  that  practice,  he  believed  he  should  never  stand 
in  need  of  them,  but  he  questioned  not  that  they  would  stand  in  need  of  him. 

It  appears  by  the  old  papers  that  Sir  Percival  was  at  last  prevailed 
upon  by  his  son,  and  did  consent  to  send  him  for  seven  years  to  this  famous 
person,  Mr.  Feames  Van  Otten,  who  used  Percival  Willughby  with  great 
kindness,  but  died  before  his  time  was  out.  There  is  a  very  melancholy 
letter  from  him  to  Sir  Percival,  upon  the  death  of  Mr.  Feames  Van  Otten,  in 
which  he  grievously  lamented  the  loss  of  such  a  master. 

This  Percival  Willughby  so  well  improved  himself  in  the  time  he 
served  so  good  a  master,  that  he  soon  took  his  Doctor's  degree,  and  became  a 
very  eminent  Physician. 

He  married  the  daughter  of  Sir  Francis  Coke,  of  Trusley,  A.D., 
1631,  and  settled  himself  in  Derby  town,  where  he  practised  Physic,  and 
lived  in  great  repute,  till  he  was  near  ninety  years  of  age.  He  had  by  this 
wife  two  or  three  sons,  who  all  died  unmarried,  and  two  daughters,  the 
eldest  of  which  married  Mr.  Hart,  and  the  younger  married  Mr.  Burton, 
of  Derby. 

Henry  was  not  so  fortunate  as  his  younger  Brother,  Percival,  who, 
by  his  practice,  gained  such  an  income,  as  allowed  him  to  live  with  great 
plenty,  but  Henry,  who  studied  the  Law,  did  not  live  to  reap  much  profit  by 
it ;  after  following  that  study  at  Oxford,  he  removed  to  the  Inward  Temple, 
and,  from  thence,  he  writ  a  great  many  very  melancholy  letters  to  Sir 
Percival,  his  Father,  which  still  remain  in  the  Library  at  Wollaton." 

Biographical   Notice. 

It  is  doubtful  whether  the  family  historian  is  correct  in  stating 
that  Percival  Willughby  took  his  Doctor's  degree.  We  have  been  unable  to 
find  any  record  of  it.  The  passage  in  the  MS.  would  naturally  lead  to  the 
conclusion  that  he  took  the  Degree  early  in  life,  and  that  can  hardly  have 
been  the  case,  for  on  February  20th,  1640-1,  he  was  admitted  an  extra 
licenciate  of  the  Royal  College  of  Physicians,  of  London,  and  was  described 
as  "in  villa  et  comitatu  Derbiensi  et  alibi  in  Medicina  bene  et  multum 
exercitatus,"  but  there  was  no  mention  of  his  possessing  a  degree  in 

Neither  did  he  possess  it  in  1666,  when  his  wife  died,  if  we  may 
draw  any  inference  from  the  inscription  on  her  gravestone,  in  which  he 
describes  himself  as  simply  "generosus."  It  is  true  that  in  the  inscription 
on  his  own  gravestone  he  is  described  as  M.D.,  but  that  in  itself  would  not 
necessarily  imply  more  than  Physician. 

The  statement  that  he  settled  in  Derby,  in  1631,  is,  however, 
corroborated  by  our  author's  reports  of  cases  attended  by  him  (v.  p.  268,) 
and  in  fact  it  is  probable  that  he  was  practising  there  in  1630,  (v.  p.  130), 
but  when  and  where  he  first  commenced  practice  we  are  unable  to  discover. 
He  must  have  been  in  practice  as  early  as  1624,  if  we  may  rely  upon  his 
statement  made  in  January,  1669,  that  he  had  practised  "nigh  forty-five 
years,"  (v.  p.  114.) 

Until  the  year  1655  he  appears  to  have  practised  in  Derbyshire, 
and  to  have  been  resident  in  Derby,  but  in  that  year  we  find  him  living  in 

*  See  the  Eoll  of  the  Royal  College  of  Physicians  of  London,  by  William  Munk,  M.D., 
Vol.  I.,  p.  213. 

Biographical    Notice. 

Staffordshire,  (v.  p.  259,  "whitest  that  I  lived  in  Stafford,  &c."  and  p.  49.) 
and  it  would  seem  that  he  was  not  resident  in  Staffordshire  for  a  long  time 
before  1655,  for  he  says  (p.  77)  "About  the  year  1654, 1  travailed  with  my 
guide,  about  the  middle  of  summer,  all  the  fore  part  of  the  night,  and 
was  brought  to  Bromidgham,  in  Staffordshire." 

His  sojourn  then  in  Stafford  was  not  of  long  duration,  for  in  1656 
we  find  him  in  London,  and  in  this  instance  he  gives  us  in  a  few  words,  the 
reason  for  his  removal.  "  I  left  Stafford  and  went  to  London,  there  to  live 
for  the  better  education  of  my  children,  in  May,  1656.  And  by  reason  of  an 
Apothecary,  that  formerly  had  lived  in  Stafford,  I  quickly  had  some  practice 
in  midwifery,  among  the  meaner  sort  of  women."     (v.  p.  238.) 

During  his  residence  in  London,  however,  he  was  not  without 
practice  of  a  higher  class,  for  in  1658  we  find  him,  with  his  daughter, 
attending  "  Sir  Tennebs  Evanks  lady." 

His  daughter  at  this  period  appears  to  have  been  of  great  service 
to  him.  The  first  mention  of  her  is  in  1655,  when  he  takes  her  with  him  to 
a  case  at  Congerton,  (v.  p.  158),  but  in  1656  she  appears  to  have  been 
competent  to  attend  cases  without  her  father's  assistance,  and  to  have 
practised  in  Staffordshire,  and  subsequently  in  London,     (v.  p.  119.) 

We  cannot  positively  fix  the  duration  of  Willughby's  residence  in 
London,  but  inasmuch  as  he  mentions  cases  in  London  in  1658,  and  1659, 
and  in  1660  we  find  him  attending  a  case  eight  miles  from  Derby,  it  may 
fairly  be  assumed  that  he  returned  to  Derby  sometime  in  the  year  1659,  or 

'Biographical  Notice. 

Here  he  resumed  the  extensive  and  laborious  practice  which  he 
appears  to  have  carried  on  till  within  a  few  years  of  his  death ;  frequently 
taking  long  journies  on  horseback  through  the  night,  regardless  of  bad  roads 
and  bad  weather ;  now  staying  several  days  with  a  patient  in  the  country, 
receiving  all  the  time  importunate  messages  from  other  ladies  who  required 
his  services  ;  now  losing  his  way  in  a  forest,  and  riding  hard  to  be  in  time. 

It  is  possible  that  his  son  may  have  assisted  him  during  the 
later  years  of  his  practice,  for  he  mentions  receiving  such  assistance  in  the 
year  1670,  (p.  175,)  and  it  is  noticeable  that  his  observations  on  cases 
cease  about  that  time. 

He  died  in  the  year  1685,  at  the  advanced  age  of  89. 

On  a  stone  placed  within  the  rails  of  the  Communion  table  in  the 
Chancel  of  St.  Peter's,  Derby,  is  the  following  inscription  : — 

"Hie  jacet   corpus   Percivalli   Willughby,    M.D.,   filii    Percivalli 
Willughby  de  Woollaton  in  Comitatu  Nottingham,  Militis.      Obiit  2  die 
Octob.  Anno  Salutis  1685. 
^Etatis  suae  89." 

Beneath  this  inscription  are  the  arms  of  Willughby,  and  on  a 
stone  near  it  is  the  following  inscription  to  the  memory  of  Elizabeth, 
our  author's  wife  : — 

"  Hie  jacet  Elizabetha  uxor  Perciva.  Willughby  gen.  filia 
Francisci  Coke  de  Trusley  Milit.  ipsa  obiit  15  Feb.  1666,  setatis  suse  67. 

dfoplaitaiifln:  of  Ctfle  Igage. 

The  figure  of  Juno  Lucina  represented  on  the  title  page,  is 
engraved  from  a  cast  taken  by  Mr.  Doubleday,  of  the  British  Museum,  from 
a  fine  Eoman  large  brass  coin  of  the  Empress  Lucilla,  in  the  collection 
of  the  Museum. 

At  the  request  of  a  friend,  Edward  Hawkins,  Esq ,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A., 
keeper  of  the  antiquities  in  the  Museum,  has  kindly  permitted  the  coin  to  be 
copied  expressly  for  this  publication. 

The  flower  held  in  the  right  hand  of  the  Goddess  is  part  of  the 
ancient  emblem  of  Hope ;  and  the  object  of  hope  seems  to  be  indicated  by 
a  figure  of  an  infant  at  the  side  of  the  Divinity. 

The  whole  representation  would  appear  to  point  out  the  trust  of 
the  Empress  in  the  protection  of  the  Goddess  Juno  Lucina  during 

(S^planaiion  of  Jfronttsjraa. 

This  curious  woodcut  is  copied  from  a  rare  volume  intituled 
"  Thonue  Bartholini  Antiquitatum  veteris  puerperii  Synopsis." — Amstelodami 
MDCLXXVI.     It  is  thus  explained  in  the  text,  and  aecompanying  note. 

"Imminente  puerperio  clavis  tradita  a  maritis,  locusque  puerperii 
idem  eligebatur,  quern  olim  habuerant  Patres,  purpura  stratus  antiqua  imperii 
nota,  sed  ad  plures  ob  luxum  deinde  divulgata.  Habitu  ornantur  proprio, 
quern  ex  figulina  tabula  eruimus*.  Caput  fasciis  cinctum,  pallio  abjecto  et 
soleis,  quse  peracto  resumuntur  opere. 

Assident,  sed  nee  poplite  in  alterum  genu  imposito,  nee  digitis 
pectinatim  implexis. 

Proxima  quseque  apprehendentes  dolore  se  sublevant,  primaque 
cura  est,  ob  partus  facilitatem,  palmam  tetigisse.' 

*  Tabulam  illam  figulinam,  quae  asservabatur  olim  in  Museo  V.C.  Martii  Milesii 
Sarazani  exbibet  nobis  Jac.  Philip.  Tomasinus  de  Donariis,  ex  quo  nos  earn  bic  proponimus 

Tabulam  banc  Puerperarum  votum  exhibere  et  Dianas  Nemorensi  sacram  putat 
Tomasinus,  quippe  quae  Nemi  inventa  est,  ubi  celebre  olim  Dianas  Templum.  Continet  autem 
base  obstetricem,  qua?  puerum  in  lucem  jam  editum  gremio  fovet,  et  dextra  mulierem 
puerperam  sustinet  fere  nudam,  babitu  dimisso.  Ita  enim  de  babitu  puerpera?  Plautus 
Truculent.    Act  II.     Sc.  5. 

vosmet  jam  videtis 

Tit  omata  incedo  puerperio     .     .     .     .     " 


OCT  23 


Observations  in  Midwifery, 

By  Percivall  Willughby, 


everall  Worthies  have  set  forth  the  waves  of  anatomizing  of  the 
womb.     An  eminent  person  of   late  hath  published  a  treatise 
"  De  formato  foetu."      Several!  others  have  written  of  the  diseases  of  the 

These  little  belong  to  the  knowledge  of  midwives,  I  shall  there- 
fore passe  by  these  learned  works.  My  endeavours  shall  bee  very 
little  to  meddle  with  diseases,  physick,  or  medicines,  but  to  shew  the 
handy  operation  to  midwives,  how  to  produce  the  fetus,  when  perfectly 
formed,  and  how  to  help  poor  suffering  women  in  distresses,  and,  chiefly 
to  direct  the  country  young  midwives,  with  what  I  have  read,  seen  and 
performed,  giving  them  severall  examples,  and  caveats,  with  perswasions, 
intreating  them  not  to  bee  too  busie  afore  fitting  time.  So  their  women 
will  bee  more  easily,  and  better  helped  in  their  sufferings,  and  their  own 

Observations  in  Midivifery,  by 

repute  advanced  in  the  practice  of  midwifery,  by  observing  what  hath 
been  by  mee  performed  at  severall  times  in  diverse  places. 

And  for  their  good  I  have  put  forth  these  observations  in  English, 
knowing  that  few  of  our  midwives  bee  learned  in  severall  languages. 
For  I  have  been  with  some  that  could  not  read,  with  severall  that  could 
not  write ;  with  many  that  understood  very  little  of  practice,  and  for 
such  as  these  bee,  it  would  do  no  good  to  speak  to  them  of  the  anato- 
mizing of  the  womb,  or  to  tell  them  of  the  learned  workes  of  Mercatus, 
or  Sennertus,  or  Spigelius. 

What  I  shall  do  is  not  to  shew  any  new  way  of  practice  to  the 
learned  (of  whom  I  desire  to  be  instructed)  but  to  inform  the  ignorant 
common  midwives  with  such  wayes  as  I  have  used  with  good  successe. 
My  thoughts  bee  onely  for  a  publick  good,  and  chiefly  to  benefit  my 
own  nation,  and  the  midwives  inhabiting  England.  And  it  is  my  desire 
to  expresse  myself  in  such  plain  familiar  words  in  this  work,  as  may 
bee  well  understood  by  them,  for  the  better  easing  of  labouring  women 
and  the  saving  of  poor  innocent  infants  lives. 

To  set  forth  a  discourse  concerning  the  posture  of  the  child  in- 
closed in  the  womb,  would  not  at  all  advance  their  knowledg,  and  I  do 
decline  it.  For  Pareus  saith,  that  reason  cannot  shew  the  certaine  situ- 
ation of  the  infant  in  the  womb,  and  that  it  is  altogether  uncertain, 
variable  and  diverse,  both  in  living  and  in  dead  women.  It  will  bee 
sufficient  for  midwives  to  know  in  what  posture  the  child  commeth,  and 
how  to  alter  unnatural  and  difficult  births,  and  so  to  help  their  women 
in  distresse,  that  the  secondine  or  uterine  cake  groweth  to  the  botom  of 
the  womb,  and  is  firmly  there  fastened  to  the  uterus,  and  that  it  is  not 
easily  separated  from  it,  except  it  bee  when  the  birth  is  drawing  toward 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

the  delivery,  at  which  time,  like  a  ripe  fruit,  it  easily  forgoeth  the  former 

Yet  it  may  bee  usefull  to  give  them  a  glimmering  light,  what 
learned  anatomists  have,  in  some  part,  set  forth. 

They  say  that  there  bee  two  coats  Amnion  and  Chorion,  which 
cover  the  infant  in  the  womb,  which  coates  or  membranes  hold  in  the 
waters,  in  which  the  body  of  the  infant  swimmeth. 

To  which  membranes  other  Anatomists  adde  a  third,  which  they 
call  Allontoides,  which  some  call  a  duplication  of  the  membrane  Chorion, 
and  some  doubt  whether  there  bee  such  a  coat  as  Allontoides. 

And  these  Anatomists  and  Physicians  say,  that  the  humour,  which 
is  contained  in  the  .Amnion,  is  most  thin  and  transparent ;  but  the  hu- 
mour which  is  in  Chorion  is  thicker  and  darker. 

And  that  these  coats  Amnion  and  Chorion  do  encompasse  the 
infant  in  the  womb,  and  that  the  use  of  these  membranes,  or  coates,  is 
to  contain  and  keep  in  the  waters,  in  winch  the  infant  swimmeth,  and 
with  winch  the  foetus  is  nourished. 

This  coat  Chorion  is  rough  and  viscous  without,  but  within 
smooth  and  glib,  and  in  women  the  upper  part  of  it  is  thicker  and  soft- 
er, and  fleshy,  but  the  lower  part  thinner  and  more  membranous.  And 
in  women  tins  membrane,  called  Chorion,  groweth  to  the  secondine,  and 
the  secondine  sticketh  to  the  side,  or  upper  part  of  the  womb. 

In  processe  of  time,  when  the  thinner  and  purer  part  of  these  hu- 
mours bee  exhausted,  the  relicks  do  then  put  on  the  nature  af  an  usefull 

Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

excrement,  and  are  reserved  in  some  animals,  that  they  may  secure  the 
foetus,  and  facilitate  the  delivery,  by  their  moisture  making  supple  the 
straits  of  the  womb,  and  so  enlarging  the  narrow  passages. 

Most  of  the  purer  part  of  the  humour  inclosed  in  the  coat  Amni- 
on is  commonly  spent  near  the  approaching  time  of  delivery,  and  then  it 
is  probable  that  the  foetus  desireth  to  get  forth,  by  reason  that  his  pro- 
visions fail  him. 

Then,  through  the  infant's  enforcing,  and  the  paines  of  the  mother, 
the  womb  openeth,  and  the  Chorion,  containing  the  waters,  descendeth, 
which  the  midwives  feeling,  they  say  that  the  waters  gather,  and  that 
the  birth  approacheth.  After  the  breaking  of  these  waters,  the  child 
followeth  them. 

At  this  time,  and  not  afore,  the  midwife  may  be  assistent  to  the 
labouring  woman,  for  the  better  helping  of  the  cornming  forth  of  the 
child,  or  rather  for  the  receiving  of  it. 

After  the  child  is  born,  the  midwife  must  fetch  away  the  secon- 
dine.  The  upper  part  thereof  doth  stick  to  the  womb  all  the  time  that 
the  woman  goeth  with  child.  But  the  middle  part  thereof  doth  grow  to 
the  Chorion.  And  this  secondine,  or  after-birth,  separating  of  it  self, 
doth  come  away  last  in  the  delivery ;  and  is  constituted  of  the  humours, 
membranes,  and  fleshy  substance,  as  also  of  the  umbilicall  vessels. 

Let  the  midwife  look  on  the  secondine,  after  that  she  hath  fetched 
it,  and  it  will  shew  her  this  membrane  Chorion,  like  a  broken  bladder, 
from  whence  the  waters  issued,  and  in  which  the  infant,  swimming  in  the 
waters,  was  contained,  sticking  to  the  secondine,  into  which  the  navel- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

string  is  inserted,  by  which  navel-string  the  midwife's  hand  is  guided  for 
the  bringing  away  of  the  secondine. 

And  I  was  moved  rather  to  speak  of  the  Chorion  and  Amnion, 
and  of  the  waters  in  which  the  child  swimmeth,  hanging  by  the  navel- 
string,  for  that  there  bee  some  simple  midwives  that  imagine  that  the 
child  oft  sticketh  to  the  woman's  back ;  and  they  do  not  blush  to  affirme 
their  ignorances,  how  they  have  separated  the  child  from  sticking  to  the 

In  the  first  place,  I  wish  and  desire  all  midwives  not  to  bee  too 
forward,  or  too  officious  in  their  undertakings,  least  that  they  disquiet 
nature,  whose  onely  work  it  is,  and  I  would  have  them  to  understand, 
that  they  bee  but  nature's  servants  in  all  their  performances,  and  that 
they  must  attend  her  time  and  motion,  as  hereafter  shall  be  shewed. 

Secondly  to  be  cautious,  That  they  take  not  the  wind,  or  stone- 
colick/or  such  like  distemperatures,  or  the  raging  paines  and  swellings  of 
cancerous  tumours  in  the  womb,  for  a  woman's  labour,  that  is  with  child. 

An  ordinary,  poor,  gentle  clyster  will  shew  the  truth  of  these  dif- 
ferences, and  there  is  no  place  so  barren  that  will  not  afford  sufficient 
materials  to  make  it. 

Bee  not  afraid  to  use  such  clysters  as  may  onely  free  your  women 
from  several  dis-quiets  in  their  bodies,  for  they  cannot  hurt  any  woman, 
or  her  burden;  they  will  prepare,  supple,  and  make  a  larger  way  for  a 
better  passage,  and  will  make  the  work  more  easy  and  prosperous  under 
your  hands,  by  bringing  away  the  common  excrements,  filling  the  great 
gut,  which  oft  cause  a  long  and  troublesome  labour,  hindering  the  descent 
of  the  child. 

Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Anno  1630  I  was  desired  by  one  Powell,  a  countryman,  dwelling 
at  Weston  in  Darbyshire,  to  visit  his  wife.  Her  midwife  beleeved  that 
shee  was  in  labour,  and  had  used  some  enforcing  endeavours  to  lay  her. 
But,  after  my  comming,  finding  that  the  waters  had  not  flowed,  and  that 
the  womb  was  closed,  instead  of  proceeding  any  farther,  I  caused  her  to 
take  a  clyster  of  milk,  in  which  Avas  boiled  an  handfull  of  chamomil,  to 
which  strained  was  added  a  spoon-full  of  sugar,  and,  afterward,  the  yolk 
of  an  egge ;  and  this  was  given  lukewarme.  Shee  found  great  easement 
at  the  receiving  of  it.  Shee  went  immediately  to  her  bed,  shee  slept 
quietly  all  the  night ;  at  the  discharging  of  it,  in  the  morning,  all  the 
dis-quiets  of  her  body  were  removed,  and  shee  continued  well  for  the 
space  of  a  moneth,  after  which  time  shee  was  well  delivered. 

In  my  first  dayes  of  ignorance,  I  thought  that  it  was  the  best  way 
to  suffer  midwives  to  stretch  the  labia  vulvas  with  their  hands  and  fingers, 
when  the  throwes  approached.  But  friendly  nature  in  time  shewed  mee 
my  mistaking  errour.  Through  the  remotenes  and  the  large  distance  of 
severall  places  whereunto  I  was  called,  the  women,  in  the  meane  time, 
keeping  the  labouring  woman  warm  and  quiet,  and  the  midwife  desisting 
from  using  violence,  by  such  usage  I  found  the  woman  oft  happily 
delivered  before  my  comming ;  and  so  it  was  made  manifest  to  mee  by 
observation,  That  haling,  with  pulling,  and  stretching  their  bodies,  with 
suffering  them  to  take  cold,  did  ever  much  hurt,  and  never  any  good  to 
women  in  distresse  to  procure  or  hasten  labour. 

At  the  first  approaching  pain,  bee  it  of  labour,  or  of  the  colick,  or 
of  tumours,  or  through  sharp  humors,  or  costivenes,  a  lenitive  clyster 
will  mitigate  the  labouring  woman's  sufferings,  and  facilitate  the  work, 
no  way  hurting  the  woman,  or  child. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

Let  the  quantity  not  exceed  a  one  six  ounces,  or,  at  the  most,  to 
bee  but  half  a  pint,  and  the  longer  the  labouring  woman  keepeth  it,  the 
better  successe  will  follow. 

The  reason,  why  so  little  a  quantity  is  prescribed,  is,  for  that  it  may 
bee  the  longer  retained,  and  so  it  better  easeth,  suppleth,  and  enlargeth 
the  passages. 

At  Chesterfield,  in  Darbyshire,  about  the  yeare  1646,  Dorothy 
North,  wife  to  Gilbert,  being  great  with  child,  was  afflicted  with  some 
disquiets  in  her  belly.  Several!  midwives  were  called  to  assist  her ;  one 
of  them  thrust  up  her  hand,  and  made  great  struggling  in  her  body ; 
at  the  taking  of  it  forth,  her  hand  was  all  over  bloody,  and  this  midwife 
made  great  vaunts  of  her  skil,  and  doings,  and  said,  That  the  child  did 
stick  to  the  woman's  back,  but  that  shee  had  removed  it. 

At  my  comming,  I  found  that  the  waters  had  not  flowed,  and 
that  the  womb  was  closed ;  I  gave  her  a  milky  clyster  that  much  abated 
her  paines.  I  instructed  one  of  the  milder  sort,  that  was  left  alone  with 
her,  what  to  do,  and  what  to  observe,  and  intreated  her  to  bee  gentle 
and  patient  with  the  woman,  and  to  stay  the  appointed  time,  assuring 
her,  That  the  fruit  would  fall  off  it-self,  when  that  it  was  full  ripe. 

Some  two  or  three  dayes  after  my  departure,  shee  was  well  de- 
livered by  this  midwife,  but  her  child  was  dead.  I  saw  this  woman 
Anno  1668,  shee  hath  had  severall  children  since  her  harsh  usage;  shee, 
with  her  children,  were  then  living,  and  in  good  health. 

I  should  bee  troubled  to  heare  any  midwife  affirme,  that  a  child 
did,  or  could,  stick  to  the  back,  or  side,  of  the  mother.     It  would  argue 

Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

and  shew  a  grosse  ignorance  in  snch  a  midwife.  Let  midwives  make  it 
rather  manifest,  that  they  have  so  mnch  understanding  in  their  callings 
as  to  know,  That  the  child  is  inclosed  within  the  membranes  in  the 
womb,  and  that  it  there  swimmeth  in  water,  and  that  the  womb  doth 
not  stick  to  the  back,  or  side,  much  lesse  the  child,  swimming  in  water, 
and  inclosed  in  severall  coates,  containing  or  holding  in,  these  waters  in 
the  womb.  And  that  they  cannot  help  any  woman  before  the  womb 
doth  open,  and  that,  in  part,  some  of  the  waters  have  issued. 

And,  if  that,  in  any  place,  they  shall  heare  other  midwives,  or 
women,  to  affirme  such  untruths,  to  give  no  credit  unto  their  sayings, 
but  to  account  them  ignorant  and  foolish,  void  of  knowledg  in  the  mid- 
wife's bed. 

In  London  Anno  1656  I  was  desired  by  a  countryman,  dwelling 
foure  miles  from  the  city,  to  visit  his  wife.  Hee  said,  That  shee  had 
been  in  labour  severall  dayes,  and  could  not  bee  delivered  by  the  mid- 

I  found  tins  woman  sitting  up,  and  very  faint,  and  her  young 
midwife  troublesome,  and  sharply  eluding  the  woman  in  pain,  telling 
her,  That  shee  could  have  found  in  her  heart  to  have  tied  her  feet  in  her 
chaire,  and  so,  whether  shee  would  or  not,  to  have  delivered  her. 

I  gave  the  woman  and  midwife  good  words ;  I  put  the  woman 
into  her  bed,  and  afterward,  perceiving  by  my  fingers  that  no  waters  had 
issued,  and  that  the  womb  was  closed,  I  gave  her  a  clyster  that  much 
eased  her  paines ;  afterward,  with  cordiall  powders  and  juleps,  her  dis- 
quiets were  taken  away,  and  about  a  quarter  of  a  year  afterward  shee  was 
happily  delivered  of  a  living  child. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

I  leave  all  women  to  their  liberty  to  make  choice  of  their  midwife, 
yet  I  will  not  bee  forward  to  perswade  them  to  take  such  a  midwife,,  as 
will  bind  them,  perforce,  fast  in  their  chair es,  against  their  wills.  Or, 
that  will  pull,  stretch,  or  hale  their  bodies,  or  use  any  violence  to  enforce 
the  womb,  in  hopes  of  a  speedier  delivery.  Such  struglings  and  doings 
make  a  difficult,  painfull,  and  long  labour. 

Not  far  from  Nottingham  there  dwelt  a  good  woman  that  oft  had 
great  pashes  of  bloud,  accompanied  with  pain,  comming  from  the  womb. 

Some  midwives  affirmed  that  shee  was  with  child,  whereupon 
Physicians  were  consulted  with.  Upon  the  wrong  informations  of  these 
midwives  their  prescriptions  proved  fruitles,  and  afforded  no  ease  to  the 
afflicted  woman. 

But  one  of  these  midwives  afterward  assured  her,  That  shee 
could  ease  and  deliver  her  of  the  child.  The  poor  woman  in  distresse, 
desirous  to  be  freed  of  her  tortures,  hearkened  and  submitted  to  her 
skill.  The  midwife  thrust  up  her  hand  into  her  body,  and  took  hold  of 
shee  knew  not  what,  and  endeavoured  violently  to  pull  it  away.  But 
through  her  struglings  and  enforcements,  great  pains  ensued,  with  a  flux 
of  bloud,  and  the  woman  being  not  able  to  endure  such  violence,  the 
midwife  was  restrained  from  farther  proceedings. 

After  this  usage  I  was  sent  for,  instead  of  a  child,  I  found  a 
swel'd,  cancerous  tumour  in  the  womb,  that  tortured  this  woman  with 
terrible  shootings  and  stinging  paines,  accompanied  with  noisome  fluxes 
of  humours ;  of  all  which  disquiets,  within  a  few  moneths  afterward, 
shee  was  eased  by  death. 

These  passages  may  move  midwives  to  bee  cautious  of  their  pro- 
mises, and  circumspect  in  their  sayings  and  undertakings,  and,  withall,  not 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

to  bee  too  busy  afore  fitting  time,  to  provoke  or  hasten  delivery ;  and 
to  forbear  all  harsh  proceedings,  ever  suffering  the  womb  to  open  it  self, 
and  the  waters  to  flow  without  their  enforcements,  and  to  offer  no  vio- 
lence to  the  womb  or  passages  thereof.  Otherwise  they  will  not  ease, 
but  afflict,  their  women,  by  their  unadvised  waves,  and  ignorant  pro- 

I  advised  a  good  woman,  a  physician's  wife,  that  had  suffered  in 
severall  labours,  not  to  put  her  self  under  her  midwife's  hands  before 
the  waters  flowed,  and  that  shee  could  feel  the  child's  head ;  nor  to  be 
compelled  to  sit  on  the  midwives  stool,  or  woman's  lap,  or  to  kneele, 
before  enforcing  throws  came  upon  her;  and  at  no  time  to  suffer  the  mid- 
wife to  hale,  or  stretch,  her  body  with  her  hands  or  fingers,  through 
hopes  to  hasten  her  delivery ;  but  to  rest  quiet  in,  or  on,  her  bed,  and  to 
keep  her  self  warm,  and  to  let  her  midwife  do  no  more  then  to  anoint 
her  body,  and,  when  the  time  should  come,  to  receive  the  child  and  to  help 
to  fetch  the  after-birth  if  need  require.  Shee  followed  my  counsell,  and 
afterwards  gave  mee  thanks  for  my  directions  and  assured  mee,  That 
shee  had  found  much  ease  and  comfort  by  them ;  and  that  her  sufferings 
were  little,  and  nothing  so  grievous  as  formerly  they  had  been  unto  her, 
occasioned  by  her  midwife's  enforcements. 

In  Darby,  Feb  :  the  ninth,  1667,  a  poor  foole  Mary  Baker,  wan- 
dering for  sustinence,  wanting  cloths  to  keep  her  warm,  having  gone 
barefooted  for  many  years,  was,  in  an  open,  windy,  cold  place,  nigh  to  a 
house  of  office,  delivered  by  the  sole  assistance  of  Dame  Nature,  Eve's 
midwife,  and  freed  of  the  after-birth,  without  the  help  of  any  other  mid- 
wife, or  any  assisting  woman  present  with  her.  It  was  reported,  That 
the  child,  being  a  wench,  lay  naked  upon  the  cold  boards  more  than  a 
quarter  of  an  houre.     Shee,  being  found  out  by  the  child's  crying,  was 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


not  immediately  succoured,  but  neighbers  being  called  they  took  up  the 
child  and  found  the  navel-string  separated  from  the  after-birth,  which 
came  of  itself  afterward.  In  her  extremity  shee  was  destitute  of  a  warm 
place  and  bed,  wanting  necessaries  fitting  for  a  woman's  releef.  This 
poor  creature,  leaning  with  her  back  against  a  wall,  was  quickly  deli- 
vered and  more  easily  than  many  have  been  by  midwives  in  warm  places. 
Shee  and  the  child  lived. 

It  is  a  good  and  fitting  thing  that  every  woman  should  have 
her  midwife  with  her,  at  the  time  of  her  delivery.  But  it  is  not  abso- 
lutely necessary,  for  that  many  bee  delivered  without  the  help  of  mid- 

The  midwife's  dutie,  in  a  naturall  birth,  is  no  more  but  to  attend, 
and  wait  on,  nature,  and  to  receive  the  child ;  and,  (if  need  require)  to 
help  to  fetch  the  after -birth,  and  her  best  care  will  bee  to  see  that  the 
woman  and  child  bee  fittingly  and  decently  ordered  with  necessary  con- 

The  after-birth  oft  commeth  of  itself,  yet  it  is  not  amisse  to  assist 
nature  for  the  producing  of  it. 

There  bee  some  midwives,  that  never  offer  to  fetch  the  after-birth, 
but  suffer  nature  to  expell  it,  and  their  women  have  done  well. 

I  know  a  worthy  good  man,  that  had  two  children,  at  severall 
times,  as  good  as  born,  before  the  midwife  did,  or  could  come  unto  his 

I  have  known  severall  women,  that  have  -been  delivered  without 
a  midwife.  Therefore  to  have  a  midwife  is  not  absolutely  necessary,  yet 
very  convenient,  to  assist  the  woman,  and  so  to  avoid  all  future  sus- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

picions,  and  to  free  some  of  the  looser  sort  from  the  danger  of  the 
statute-law,  in  case  that  the  child  should  bee  found  dead. 

Let  not  women,  turning  niidwives,  delude  themselves,  by  think- 
ing, That  this  work  will  be  learned  by  seeing  a  few  women  delivered,  or 
by  little  practice,  or  by  discourse,  or  by  reading  books,  that  it  will  suf- 
ficiently bee  understood.  All  these  bee  good  helps  and  inducements  to 
shew  them  somewhat  in  the  way  of  practice.  But,  in  cases  of  danger, 
and  in  unnaturall  births,  without  much  practice,  they  will  find  them- 
selves ignorant,  and  at  a  stand,  not  knowing  what  path  to  follow,  or 
what  course  to  take  for  the  woman's  safety,  or  the  saving  of  their  own 

Every  delivery  hath  taught  mee  something,  or,  at  the  least,  hath 
confirmed  my  practice. 

For,  although  much  practice  enlighteneth  the  understanding,  yet 
they  shall  sometimes  find,  That  all  bodies  bee  not  alike,  and  that  some 
unexpected  newnes,  or  casualty,  may  happen  in  the  mother,  or  in  the 
child,  or  in  the  labour,  or  in  most  of  them,  the  which  I  have  sometimes 

I  knew  a  woman,  that  was  happily  delivered  of  eighteen  children, 
yet,  through  an  accident,  happening  before  her  travailing,  shee  died  of 
the  nineteenth  in  the  night  after  shee  was  delivered. 

I  desire  that  all  midwives  may  gain  a  good  repute,  and  have  a  ' 
happy  successe  in  all  their  undertakings;  and  that  their  knowledge, 
charity,  and  patience,  with  tender  compassion,  may  manifest  their  worths 
among  their  women,  and  give  their  women  just  cause  to  love,  honour, 
and  to  esteem  them. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Let  rnidwives  pray  to  God  to  direct  theni,  and  to  blesse  their 
women,,  and  that  he  would  bee  pleased  to  free  them  from  all  the  dangers, 
&  perilous  accidents,  happening  sometimes  in  child-bed. 

And,  in  all  their  undertakings,  ever  to  desire,  That  God  would 
bee  graciously  pleased  to  inform  their  judgments,  &  to  guide  their  hands, 
for  the  better  helping,  &  saving  of  their  women,  and  children,  and, 
lastly,  with  submitting  humblenes  to  implore  his  gracious  mercy  for 
mitigating  their  punishment,  which  is  decreed  and  pronounced  against 

"  In  sorrow  thou  shalt  bring  forth  children.'" 

And  let  rnidwives  read  12,  13,  14,  &  15  verses  of  Zechariah,  & 
consider  the  15  verse,  what  God  said,  "  I  was  but  a  little  displeased, 
&  the  heathen  helped  forward  the  affliction,"  &  in  the  16  verse  saith 
the  Lord,  "  I  am  returned  with  mercyes." 

God  was  displeased  with  Eve,  therefore  he  said,  "  In  sorrow  thou 
shalt  bring  forth  children,"  not  that  hee  would  destroy  her.  Therefore 
let  rnidwives  endeavour  to  mitigate  their  women's  sorrows,  and  no  way 
augment  them,  by  haling,  and  pulling  their  bodies,  to  help  forward,  &  to 
increase  their  sufferings. 

Usually,  before  the  time  of  delivery,  three  sorts  of  humours  do 
come,  and  bee  seen  in  most  women. 

The  first  is  slimy,  and  commeth  by  the  dilatation  of  the  outward, 
and  inward  orifice  of  the  womb.  Sometimes  it  commeth  two,  three,  or 
four  dayes  before  the  travail,  by  little  dabs,  or  like  snot,  and  it  doth 
much  good,  by  opening,  and  moistening,  and  causing  a  slipperines  in 
the  outward  parts  of  the  body,  for  the  more  easy  delivery. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  second  hath  some  small  reddish  straines  or  streakes  in  this 
slime,  which  appeareth,  when  the  womb  enclineth  to  opening,  and  the 
membranes  begin  to  crack,  before  the  issuing  of  the  waters. 

The  third  is  called,  by  the  midwives,  the  water,  in  which  the  child 

Let  mee  perswacle  and  intreat  the  midwife,  not  to  torment  the 
poore  woman,  at  the  first  comming  of  her  paines,  by  putting  her  to 
kneel,  or  to  sit  on  a  woman's  lap,  or  on  the  midwife's  stoole,  Jmt  suffer 
her  to  walk  gently,  or  to  lie  down  on  a  truckle  bed,  having  a  warme 
closier  to  her  body,  and  her  cloths  wrapped  close  about  her,  keeping  her 
in  a  moderate  temperature,  not  too  hot,  or  too  cold,  but  so,  as  shee  may 
well  endure,  anointing  the  places,  concerned  in  travail,  with  fresh  butter, 
goose  grease,  capon's,  or  hen's  fat,  or  balsamum  hystericum,  as  occasion 

When  the  upper  parts  of  the  belly  seem  as  if  they  were  empty, 
and  fallen,  and  the  lower  parts  big,  and  full,  then  the  child  sinketh 
down,  and  this  is  a  forerunner  of  labour. 

Dr.  Harvy  saith  fol :  472  "  Of  the  birth/' 

"  The  matrix  being  near  delivery,  doth  bear  down,  groweth  soft, 
and  openeth  its  Orifice.  The  Waters  also  as  they  commonly  call  them, 
are  Gathered,  that  is,  a  certain  part  of  the  chorion,  in  which  the  fore- 
said humour  is  conteined,  doth  usher  in  the  Foetus,  and  slide  down  from 
the  Matrix  into  the  Vagina,  or  Sheath  of  the  Womb  :  and  the  neigh- 
bouring parts  also  are  loosened,  and  ready  to  distend :  also  the  Articu- 
lation of  the  Holy  bone,  and  the  Share-bone  to  the  Hanch-bone  (which 
Copulation,  or  Articulation  is  by  Synchondrosis,  or  a  gristly  ligament) 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


is  so  softened  and  losened,  that  the  fore-said  bones  do  easily  give  way  to 
the  parting  Infant ;  and  by  gaping  open,  do  amplifie  the  whole  region 
of  the  Hypogastrium,  or  Lower  belly.  And  when  these  things  are  in 
this  condition,  it  is  certain  that  the  Birth  is  at  hand.  And  that  so  the 
fetus  (like  a  ripe  fruit)  may  come  forth  into  the  World,  Nature  makes 
this  provision  of  dilating  the  parts." 

The  words  of  Ambrose  Parey,  ch  :  13.  lib  :  24,  "Concerning  the 
Generation  of  Man." 

"  When  the  naturall  prefixed  and  prescribed  time  of  child-birth  is 
come,  the  childe  being  then  growne  greater,  requires  a  greater  quantity 
of  food :  which  when  he  cannot  receive  in  sufficient  measure  by  his 
navell,  with  great  labour  and  striving  hee  endeavoureth  to  get  forth  : 
therefore  then  hee  is  moved  with  a  stronger  violence,  and  doth  breake 
the  membranes  wherein  he  is  contained.  Then  the  wombe,  because  it 
is  not  able  to  endure  such  violent  motions,  nor  to  sustaine  or  hold  up 
the  childe  any  longer,  by  reason  that  the  conceptacles  of  the  membranes 
are  broken  asunder,  is  relaxed.  And  then  the  childe  pursuing  the  aire 
which  hee  feeleth  to  enter  in  at  the  mouth  of  the  wombe,  which  then  is 
very  wide  and  gaping,  is  carried  with  his  head  downewards,  and  so  com- 
meth  into  the  world,  with  great  pain  both  unto  it  selfe,  and  also  unto 
his  mother,  by  reason  of  the  tendernes  of  his  body,  &  also  by  reason  of 
the  extension  of  the  nervous  necke  of  his  mother's  wombe,  and  sepa- 
ration of  the  bone  called  Os  Ilium  from  the  bone  called  Os  sacrum. 
For  unlesse  these  bones  were  drawne  in  sunder,  how  could  not  only 
twinnes  that  cleave  fast  together,  but  also  one  childe  alone,  come  forth 
at  so  narrow  a  passage  as  the  necke  of  the  womb  is  ?  Not  onely  reason, 
but  also  experience  confirmeth  it;  for  I  have  opened  the  bodies  of 
women  presently  after  they  have  died  of  travell  in  childe-birth,  in  whom 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  have  found  the  bones  of  Ilium  to  bee  drawne  the  breadth  of  ones 
finger  from  Os  sacrum :  and  moreover,  in  many  unto  whom  I  have  been 
called  being  in  great  extremity  of  difficult  and  hard  travelL  I  have  not 
onely  heard,  but  also  felt  the  bones  to  crackle  and  make  a  noise,  when  I 
laid  my  hand  upon  the  coccyx  or  rumpe,  by  the  violence  of  the  disten- 
tion. Also  honest  matrons  have  declared  unto  me  that  they  themselves, 
a  few  daies  before  the  birth,  have  felt  &  heard  the  noise  of  those  bones 
separating  themselves  one  from  another,  with  great  paine.  Also  a  long 
time  after  the  birth,  many  do  feele  great  paine  and  ache  about  the  region 
of  the  coccix  and  Os  sacrum,  so  that  when  nature  is  not  able  to  repaire 
the  dissolved  continuity  of  the  bones  of  Ilium,  they  are  constrained  to 
halt  all  the  dayes  of  their  life  after.  But  the  bones  of  the  share,  called 
Ossa  pubis,  I  have  never  seene  to  be  separated,  as  many  do  also  affirme. 
It  is  reported  that  in  Italy  they  break  the  coccyx  or  rumpe  in  all  maidens, 
that  when  they  come  to  bee  married  they  may  beare  children  with  the 
lesser  travaile  in  childe-birth ;  but  tins  is  a  forged  tale,  for  that  bone 
being  broken,  is  naturally  and  of  its  owne  accord  repaired,  and  joyned 
together  again  with  a  Callus,  whereby  the  birth  of  the  childe  will  be 
more  difficult  and  hard." 

But,  in  all  my  practice,  I  never  observed  such  separation  in  the 
bones  of  Ilium  from  Os  sacrum,  as  is  mentioned  by  Dr.  Harvey,  or  by 

It  is  reported,  That  the  wild  Irish  women  do  break  the  ossa  Pu- 
bis of  the  female  infant,  so  soon  as  it  is  born,  &  I  have  heard  some 
wandering  Irish  women  affirm  the  same  to  bee  true,  and  that  they  have 
wayes  to  keep  these  bones  from  uniting.  It  is  for  certain,  that  they  bee 
easily,  and  soon  delivered ;  and  I  have  observed,  That  many  wanderers 
of  that  nation  have  had  a  wadling,  &  lamish  gesture  in  their  going. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  knew  a  woman,  nigh  London,  that  had  severall  hard,  difficult 
labours,  with  much  sorrowfull  sufferings  in  her  travailing,  before  shee 
could  bee  delivered,  and  that  shee  was  sometimes  delivered  by  a  man 
midwife.  After  each  delivery  shee  was  long  weak  in  her  loines  and 
hips,  and  complained  of  much  paine  in  those  places,  and  shee  went  long 
wadling  after  each  delivery. 

I  have  known  two  women  in  Darbyshire,  the  one,  after  delivery, 
complained  much  of  weaknes,  and  paines,  which  shee  for  a  time  did 
constantly  feele  in  her  loines  and  hips;  the  other  had  the  same  sufferings, 
and  they  both  went  lamish,  and  wadling,  above  a  moneth  after  their 
delivery,  if  not  a  longer  time. 

There  came  a  woman  from  Nottingham  unto  mee  to  Darby; 
some  two  yeares  afore,  both  the  bones  of  her  arme  were  broken,  and  in 
all  this  time,  the  bones  did  not  knit  again.  I  applied  lapis  osthcocollse 
with  whites  of  egges,  and  other  astringents,  and  so  splinted  her  arme, 
and  then  shee  became  able  to  lift  up  her  hand,  and  hold  light  matters, 
the  which  shee  could  not  do  afore.  But  I  cannot  say,  that  the  bones  of 
her  arme  did  again  unite,  or  that  her  arme  was  any  way  usefull,  longer 
than  she  had  it  wrapt  in  astringents,  and  splinted  and  rouled,  for  that 
shee  came  no  more  unto  mee.  Why  may  not  the  same  thing  happen  to 
maids  in  os  pubis,  or  coccygis,  in  respect  of  union,  as  it  did  to  the  arme 
of  the  Nottingham  woman  ?  But  Pareus  saith,  that  these  bones  will 
joine  together  again  with  a  Callus ;  but  why  doth  hee  say,  a  little  afore 
this  place,  that  when  nature  is  not  able  to  repaire  the  dissolved  conti- 
nuity of  the  bones  Ilium,  That  women  are  constrained  to  halt  all  the  dayes 
of  their  lives  after  ?  The  Irish  women  have  affirmed,  that  they  can 
keep  the  share-bone  from  uniting.  And  I  saw  and  felt  what  I  have 
written  concerning  the  Nottingham  woman's  arme,  and  that  it  was  most 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

true.     Why  may  not  the  same  disunion  happen  in  os  pubis,  or  coccygis? 
But  I  leave  every  one  to  his  owne  thoughts  and  belief. 

When  paines  begin  to  follow  the  woman,  and  signes  of  travaile 
appeare,  then  let  the  midwife  enquire,  when  shee  was  at  stool,  or  made 
water,  least  the  intestinum  rectum,  being  loaded  with  excrements,  or  the 
bladder,  full  of  water,  should  presse  the  neck  of  the  womb,  and  so 
hinder  the  birth,  and  make  the  labour  more  painful  and  difficult. 

Let,  therefore,  these  passages  of  the  body  bee  freed  -of  the  excre- 
ments, either  by  a  clyster,  or  a  suppositer.  But  a  clyster  is  more  proper, 
and  let  it  not  exceed  the  quantity  of  six  ounces,  or,  at  the  most,  but 
half  a  pint.  Let  the  labouring  woman  retain  it  as  long  as  possibly  shee 
can ;  though  it  bee  three  or  foure  houres,  or  longer,  or  all  night.  At 
the  discharging  of  it,  it  will  bring  away  all  excrements,  and,  through  the 
long  keeping  of  it,  it  will  dilate,  supple,  and  bedew,  with  its  moisture 
all  the  passages,  and  stir  up  the  expulsive  faculty,  and  so  cause  a  more 
easy  delivery. 

But,  if  there  happen  unto  her  a  loose  stoole,  or  two,  or  more, 
before,  or  nigh  her  travaile,  then  you  need  not  to  give  her  a  clyster,  yet 
let  the  midwife  move  her  to  make  water. 

When  paines  increase,  and  bee  frequent,  beginning  at  the  back, 
and  running  all  along  the  belly,  without  staying  at  the  navel,  and,  chiefly, 
if  they  run  all  along  the  groin,  and  in  the  botome  of  the  belly,  and  the 
thighes  inwardly ;  It  is  a  great  signe,  that  shee  begins  to  fall  into  labour. 

Then  let  the  midwife,  having  her  finger  anointed  with  Balsamum 
Hystericus,  or  some  other  ointment,  feel  the  matrix,  if  she  find  the 
the  orifice  of  the  womb  to  open,  and  to  dilate,  shee  may  bee  assured 
that  shee  is  in  travaile. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


All  women  bee  not  delivered  after  one  fashion.  Some  desire  to 
bee  in,  or  on,  their  beds,  others,  to  be  sitting  on  the  midwife's  stool ; 
or  on  a  woman's  lap ;  some  kneeling ;  others,  standing,  supported  by  two 
women,  or  hanging  with  their  armes  about  their  ne_cks. 

But  the  best,  and  safest,  way  is  to  bee  delivered  either  in,  or  on 
their  beds,  or  pallets,  or  kneeling,  so  that  the  woman  bee  strong,  and 
the  child  lively,  having  their  bodies  decently  covered,  and  the  genitall 
parts  kept  warme. 

Having  brought  the  woman  to  her  bed,  or  pallet,  raise  her  upper 
parts,  by  putting  a  bolster  and  pillow  under  her  head,  and  a  pillow  under 
her  back  and  hips,  to  raise  them  up,  having  her  thighes  kept  asunder, 
her  knees  bowed,  her  heeles  drawn  upward,  and  to  rest  her  feet,  and  to 
thrust  them  forward  against  something  laid  at  the  bed's  feet.  Let  her 
bee  well  anointed  with  some  of  the  afore-named  ointments,  alwayes  keep- 
ing a  warme  closier  to  the  birth-place. 

It  is  a  usuall  custom  in  some  midwives,  to  roule  up  the  cloths 
from  the  bed's  feet,  to  come  unto  the  woman's  body,  when  that  labour  is 
on  her.  It  is  a  better  way,  then  to  lay  their  cloths,  as  they  kneel,  on 
their  hips ;  her  body  and  thighes,  thus  lying  naked,  the  woman  must 
needs  take  cold;  and  shee  cannot  bee  altogether  freed  from  suffering  of  cold 
by  rouling  up  of  the  cloths.  This  is  a  more  decent  way.  But,  if  the 
midwife  will  sit,  or  kneele,  by  the  bed-side,  in  a  natural  birth,  and  put 
her  hand  under  the  clothings,  or  blankets,  and  so  under  the  woman's 
thigh,  pressing  down  the  cloths  close  to  her  arme,  then  shee  shall  bee 
sure  to  keep  all  cold  from  the  woman's  body.  "What  should  the  mid- 
wife's hand  do  there  more,  then  to  anoint  the  woman's  body  with 
convenient  oiles,  or  ointments,  and  to  receive  the  child,  at  the  instant 
time  of  delivery? 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Before  the  womb  doth  open,  and  the  waters  issue,  the  midwife 
ought  not  to  bee  too  officious,  let  her  anoint  the  parts  onely,  and  use 
her  gently ;  not  alwayes,  upon  every  sleight  pain,  or  trifling  throw,  to 
bee  thrusting  her  fingers  into  the  birth-place.  But,  rather,  to  give  her 
good,  and  comfortable  words,  and,  if  the  child  commeth  right,  to  commit 
all  the  work  to  God's  mercy,  and  not  to  disturb  nature,  (whose  onely 
work  it  is)  by  giving  of  medicines  to  make  throwes.  Neither  must  shee 
go  about  to  hasten  the  birth,  by  using  any  force  to  the  woman's  body, 
to  dilate  the  passages  by  her  hands  and  fingers.  Such  doings  cause 
long,  and  difficult  labours. 

Medicines,  given  too  soon,  send  down  humours  too  hastily,  winch 
obstruct  the  passages,  causing  swellings  in  the  genitall  parts,  and  a  more 
troublesome  labour. 

It  will  bee  sufficient  to  refresh  her  with  mace-ale,  or  caudles,  or 
a  little  wine  and  Alkermes,  and  to  anoint  her  body  with  Balsamum 
Hystericum,  or  other  oiles. 

The  midwife's  office,  or  duty,  in  a  naturall  birth,  is  no  more,  but 
to  receive  the  child,  and,  afterward,  to  fetch  the  after-birth,  if  need 

Therefore  let  me  perswade  all  midwives,  not  to  do  any  thing 
hastily,  or  by  force,  to  enlarge  the  passages,  in  hopes  of  a  speedy  delivery, 
much  lesse  to  let  forth  the  waters,  by  breaking,  or  tearing  the  mem- 
branes. Such  doings  bee  hurtfull  both  to  the  mother  and  child,  for  the 
midwife  ought  to  bee  quiet,  and,  with  patience,  to  wait  on  nature  untill 
they  do  break,  or  crack,  of  themselves. 

Ambrosius  Pareus  saith.  "In  the  time  of  child-birth,  when  the 
infant  by  kicking  breaketh  the  membranes,  those  humours  runne  out, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman, 


which  when  the  midwifes  perceive,,  they  take  it  as  a  certaine  signe  that 
the  childe  is  at  hand.  For  if  the  infant  come  forth  together  with  those 
waters,  the  birth  is  like  to  be  more  easie,  and  with  the  better  successe ; 
for  the  necke  of  the  wombe  and  all  the  genitalis  are  so  by  their  moisture 
relaxed  and  made  slippery,  that  by  the  endeavour  and  stirring  of  the 
infant  the  birth  will  be  the  more  easie,  and  with  the  better  successe" 

There  bee  some  midwives,  that,  through  ignorance,  or  impatience, 
or  being  hastened  to  go  to  some  other  woman's  labour,  do  teare  the 
membranes  with  their  nailes,  or  cut  them  with  scissers,  and  let  forth  the 
waters,  to  the  great  hurt  and  danger  both  of  the  mother,  and  the  child. 

The  waters  being  issued,  and  voided  before  the  appointed  time, 
yea,  often,  before  the  child  bee  well  turned  in  the  womb,  hath  been  the 
death  of  severall  children,  and  oft  hath  endangered  the  travailing  woman's 

If  the  infant  bee  not  excluded  before  all  these  humours  bee 
wholly  flowed  out,  and  gone  forth,  but  that  it  remaineth,  as  it  were,  in 
a  dry  place,  presently,  through  drines,  the  neck  of  the  womb,  and  all 
the  neighbouring  parts,  will  be  contracted,  and  drawn  together,  so  that 
the  birth  of  the  child  will  bee  very  difficult,  and  hard  to  bee  performed ; 
unles  the  neck  of  the  womb,  to  amend  that  default,  bee  anointed  with 
oile,  or  some  other  relaxing  liquor,  to  make  the  parts  slippery  both  with- 
in, and  without ;  as  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  or  lilies,  and  a  whole  egge, 
yolk  and  white,  beaten  and  all  mixed  together,  and  poured  into  the 
privy  passage,  to  make  it  glib,  in  stead  of  the  waters  that  are  run  forth 
too  soon;  and,  for  this  purpose,  the  anointing  and  putting  into  the 
body  the  Hysterical!  Balsam  will  prove  most  excellent. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Before  the  waters  flow,  the  infant,  by  its  own  strength,  may  turn 
in  the  womb,  but,  afterward,  it  cannot,  through  the  drines  of  the  parts 
contracted  and  drawne  together ;  and  so  oft  it  commeth  in  a  difficult 
way  of  delivery. 

One  Mrs.  Jane  Wildbore,  that  I  lately  delivered  in  Darby,  per- 
ceived (as  shee  assured  mee  afterward)  that  shee  felt  the  child  scrabling, 
with  Iris  fingers,  at  the  mouth  of  the  womb,  before  the  waters  flowed. 
I  felt  the  same,  and  was  much  troubled  at  it,  fearing  an  unnaturall  birth. 
I  acquainted  others  with  my  fears,  but  I  said  nothing  to  her  (for  feare 
of  disquieting  her)  or  shee  to  mee.  At  the  flowing  of  the  waters,  tins 
child,  through  Iris  own  strength,  turned  downward,  and  pitched  his  head 
into  the  birth-place,  and  shee  was  soon  delivered,  July  the  20,  1667. 

"When  some  midwives  bee  puzled,  or,  through  ignorance,  have 
committed  some  unhandsome  doings,  by  tearing  the  membranes,  and 
that  the  infant,  for  want  of  moisture,  doth  not  descend,  but  abideth  un- 
moveable  in  the  womb,  by  slirinking  of  the  membranes  through  drines 
of  the  parts,  then  presently  they  say,  that  the  child  commeth  crosse,  or 
that  the  head  of  it  is  pitched  in  the  flank,  or  that  the  child  lieth  over- 
thwart  the  womb.     And  then  they  send  for  a  man  midwife. 

One  Mrs.  K.  P.,  a  London  midwife,  being  to  go  to  another 
woman,  in  hopes  to  deliver  her  woman  quickly  (as,  upon  my  inquiry 
shee  confessed  privately  to  mee)  did  teare  the  membranes.  All  the 
waters  issued  suddenly  forth;  the  child  being  deprived  of  moisture, 
perished  in  the  womb.  The  next  day  shee  desired  my  assistance,  and 
told  me  that  the  child's  head  lay  in  the  woman's  hip ;  but  I  could  find 
no  such  thing,  neither  could  I  reach  the  child  with  my  finger.  Of  my 
opinion  was  another  midwife.  Shee,  finding  that  I  would  not  bee  too 
hasty  to  work,  as  shee  desired,  in  my  absence,  the  better  to  save  her 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


credit,  shee  caused  another  man  to  bee  sent  for.  Hee  was  of  my  opin- 
ion, yet  told  tins  midwife,  That  hee  would  send  her  a  medicine  to  pro- 
cure labour,  and  that  at  night,  hee  would  come  again.  Then  hee  drew 
the  child  with  his  instrument,  and  the  woman  hardly  escaped  with  life, 
being  long  afterward  sickly  and  weak.  And  all  this  misery  was  occa- 
sioned through  the  midwife's  folly,  by  tearing  the  membranes,  and  let- 
ting forth  the  waters  too  suddenly ;  for  the  more  leisurely  the  waters 
dribble,  the  easier  will  be  the  delivery. 

Let  the  midwife  patiently  observe,  and  wait  on  nature's  time  and 
ways,  and,  when  some  waters  begin  to  drible  in  small  quantity,  consider, 
whether  this  issue  commeth  with  pain,  or  without  any  disquieting. 
For  Dr.  Harvy  saith,  That,  in  some  women,  at  severall  times  such  fluxes 
(which  midwives  call  by-waters)  have  issued  forth,  in  the  midst  of  the 
going  with  child,  without  abortion. 

In  this  case,  let  the  woman  keep  her  bed,  or  rest  much  on  it ; 
lying  quiet,  and  stirring  little,  so  these  fluxes  may  cease  again.  How- 
ever, shee  may  go  a  longer  time,  and,  at  the  last,  bee  safely  delivered,  yet 
it  threateneth  some  danger  of  miscarrying. 

This  midwife,  K.  F.,  was  with  a  woman  in  the  Strand,  from 
whom,  by  pashes,  and  driblets,  the  waters  issued  three  or  four  dayes,  or 
longer,  before  her  delivery.  The  midwife,  being  ignorant,  and  not  know- 
ing what  to  do,  pretended  a  visit  to  mee,  (which  was  not  usuall)  but,  at 
the  last,  shee  asked  my  opinion  in  the  aforenamed  case.  I  told  her, 
That,  in  many  women,  the  water  issued  for  severall  dayes,  and  at 
severall  times,  and  yet,  that  the  woman  did  well,  and,  in  due  time  was 
safely  delivered.  Shee  much  wondered  at  my  words,  shee  blest  herself, 
and  said,  That  shee  never  heard  the  same  afore.     Whilst  that  the  Apo- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

thecary  was  preparing,  by  my  directions,   some  medicines  for  her,  shee 
hasted  again  unto  her  woman,  and  left  her  daughter  to  bring  them. 

Shee  was  with  the  woman  not  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  but  the 
waters  flowed  again,  in  a  larger  quantity,  with  throwes,  and  the  child, 
within  a  very  little  space,  followed  them,  and  so  her  credit  was  saved, 
and  shee  confirmed  in  a  practick  way,  that  shee  knew  not  afore.  For 
winch  kindnes  this  old  midwife,  afterward,  gave  mee  thanks. 

Guillimeau  saith,  That  there  bee  some  women,  that  have  these 
waters  issue  out,  and  come  away,  long  before  they  are  ready  to  he  down. 
Hee  reporteth  that,  of  late  memory,  Mad :  Arnault,  who  having  gone 
6  or  7  moneths,  and  troubled  with  a  great  colick,  that  had  held  her  al- 
most two  moneths,  and  took  her  every  day  at  certaine  houres ;  shee 
being  at  her  house  hi  the  countrey,  intreated  him  that  hee  would  come  to 
see  her,  and  to  have  lus  advice  and  counsell,  whether  it  were  fit  for  her 
to  come  into  the  city,  winch  he  advised  her  to  do,  both  because  of  the 
great  pain  shee  had,  and  also  for  her. exceeding  greatness,  being  of  opini- 
on that  shee  might  have  two  children.  Being  come  to  Paris,  her  colick 
was  somewhat  mitigated,  and  a  little  while  after  shee  voided  two  or  three 
gallons  of  water,  without  any  pain,  thinking  verily  that  shee  was  not 
with  cliild ;  yet,  five  dayes  after,  shee  was  delivered  very  happily,  and 
with  little  pain,  of  a  fane  daughter,  there  following  very  little  water,  or 
none  at  all. 

Hee  saith,  That  hee  saw  another  Lady,  in  whom  these  waters 
came  away  above  ten  dayes  before  her  delivery.  Yet  shee  kept  not  her 
bed,  but  followed  her  ordinary  busines. 

Therefore  let  not  the  midwife  bee  too  bold,  to  hasten  delivery,  ex- 
cept the  paines  bee  proper  for  travaile. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


When  the  waters,  by  the  paines,  and  strivings  of  the  mother,  or 
by  the  enforcements  of  the  child,  shall  bee  newly  broken  out,  and  that 
throwes  bee  strong,  and  increasing,  then  let  the  midwife,  with  what  con- 
venience may  bee,  place  herself  nigh  to  the  travailing  woman,  and,  hav- 
ing her  hand  anointed,  feel  the  matrix,  that  shee  may  the  better  find 
whether  the  child  commeth  naturally,  or  not. 

If,  in  feeling,  shee  perceive  that  there  is  an  hard,  and  equall 
roundnes,  it  is  most  likely  to  bee  the  head  of  the  child,  and  that  it 
commeth  naturally.  If  shee  feele  any  unevenes,  shee  may  suspect  the 

When  the  midwife  shall  perceive  that  the  birth  commeth  well, 
and  according  to  nature,  and  that  the  child's  head  is  pitched  in  the 
birth,  (the  which  they  call  a  naturall  birth)  and  that  the  throwes  follow, 
and  increase  upon  the  woman,  and  that  the  child  doth  endeavour  to 
come  forth,  and  that  the  womb  doth  strain,  and  force  itself  to  bee  freed 
of  the  burden  :  Then  let  the  midwife  encourage  the  woman,  intreating 
her  to  bear  down  her  throwes,  to  hold  in  her  breath,  by  stopping  her 
mouth,  and  to  strain  downward,  as  though  shee  would  break  wind,  or 
go  to  stoole,  and  not  to  hinder  her  labour  by  sucking  in  her  breath,  or 
lamenting  her  sufferings ;  and  let  her  assure  her  with  comfortable  words, 
That  the  child  is  ready  at  hand  to  come  into  the  world,  and  that  shee 
will  soon  be  delivered  by  putting  her  endeavours  to  the  work. 

But  if,  at  this  time,  labour  should  begin  to  flag,  and  throwes 
decrease,  toward  the  latter  end  of  the  woman's  travaile,  it  would  bee 
convenient  to  give  a  dose  of  the  midwife's  powder,  to  quicken  the  child's 
expulsion,  and  it  will  much  advance  the  woman's  delivery. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And  then,  and  ever,  let  the  midwife  forbeare  to  use  violence, 
which  liindereth  the  birth,  through  much  haling,  or  pulling,  or  stretch- 
ing those  tender  parts. 

Such  doings  create  paines,  with  swellings  and  sorenes,  and  make 
the  labouring  woman  unwilling  to  endure  her  labour,  and  the  putting 
down  of  her  throwes ;  and,  severall  times,  this  too  much  officiousnes 
causeth  evil  accidents  to  follow,  as  tearing  the  body,  sores,  and  ulcers, 
or  flouding  and  scouring.  All  winch,  in  childbed,  bee  found  too  oft 
dangerous,  and  they  may  prove  fatall. 

Let  the  labouring  woman  herself,  or  some  assisting  woman,  (as 
occasion  urgeth)  gently  presse  downward,  with  the  palm  of  her  hand, 
the  upper  parts  of  the  woman's  belly ;  stroaking,  and  putting  the 
child  downward  by  little  and  little ;  and  let  every  one  encourage  the 
woman  with  good  hopes,  that  her  sufferings  will  quickly  bee  at  an  end, 
and  that  such  paines  bee  incident  to  all  women  in  their  travaile. 

This  pressure  hastens  the  delivery,  and  quickeneth  the  throwes, 
and  maketh  the  labour  more  easy  to  bee  endured. 

When  the  child's  head  doth  offer  itself,  the  midwife  must  gently 
receive  it  with  both  her  hands ;  afterward,  when  the  woman's  throwes 
increase,  or,  without  them,  shee  may  draw  forth  the  child's  shoulders, 
by  sliding  up  her  fingers  under  the  child's  armepit,  and  easily  nudging 
the  child's  body  toward  the  other  side,  slightly  drawing  with  her  ringers ; 
so  will  the  rest  of  the  body  quickly  follow,  which  must  not  bee  pulled 
forth  hastily,  or  rashly  from  the  woman's  body. 

So  soon  as  the  child  is  born,  let  the  midwife  fetch  the  after-birth, 
the  navel-string  will  guide  her  to  it,  by  which  shee  may  gently  move  the 
after-birth  from  side  to  side,  to  make  it  separate  from  the  womb  through 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


that  motion.  It  usually  descendeth  with  the  child,  and  lyeth  in  the 
vagina  uteri  (the  sheath  of  the  womb)  like  a  loose  handkerchief  in 
one's  pocket.  Let  the  midwife  gather  it  leasurely  into  her  hand,  and 
hold  it  gently,  without  squeezing,  then  cause  the  woman  to  cough, 
sneeze,  or  boken,  and,  whilest  she  is  so  doing,  let  the  midwife  sleightly 
draw  it  away.  This  coughing  and  sneezing,  or  bokening,  by  pressing 
the  belly  together,  doth,  of  itself,  thrust  forth  the  midwife's  hand,  and 
the  after-birth. 

If  the  womb  shall  be  found  very  moveable,  and  loose  (as  some- 
times it  is,  when  the  belly  hath  been  greatly  stretched  out,  through  the 
greatnes  of  the  child,  and  multitude  of  the  humours)  in  this  case  let 
the  midwife  cause  some  other  woman  to  lay  her  flat  hands  on  the  sides 
of  the  woman's  belly  and  navel,  and  gently  to  presse  them  together,  and 
to  stroke  her  belly  downward,  whilest  that  shee  draweth  the  after-birth 
from  her. 

Sometimes  the  after-birth  doth  not  descend  into  the  vagina  uteri, 
but  is  retained  in  the  body  of  the  womb,  and  this  will  prove  difficult 
and  troublesome  to  the  midwife  to  fetch,  and  few  know  how  to  do  it, 
and  they  had  better  to  let  it  alone  unfetched,  then  to  keep  much  strug- 
ling  in  the  woman's  body.  Nature,  with  time,  will  expell  it,  with  the 
giving  of  such  medicines  as  enforce  the  birth,  and  keep  open  the  womb. 

In  this  case,  let  the  understanding  midwife  anoint  her  hand,  and 
follow  the  navel-string,  which  will  lead  her  to  the  mouth  of  the  womb ; 
if  it  be  shut,  or  somewhat  closed,  let  her,  by  degrees,  with  her  anointed 
fingers,  open  the  womb,  and,  having  gotten  to  the  after-birth,  let  her 
shake  it  a  little  by  the  navel-string,  and,  being  loosened,  gather  it 
leasurely  into  her  hand,  and  then  cause  the  woman  to  cough,  boken,  or 
sneeze,  and  shee  will  the  easier  bring  it  forth  by  these  enforcements. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  after -burden  is  easiest   drawn  forth  when  the  woman  kneeleth. 

Some  women  cause  two  bags  of  linen  cloth  to  bee  made,  and  to 
bee  filled  with  warm  salt.  These  bags  they  will  the  woman  to  hold  hard 
in  her  hands,  nigh  as  high  as  her  breast,  close  together,  and  then  to 
bend  her  back  and  head  forwards,  and  lifting  up,  and  stretching  abroad 
her  elbowes,  with  strong  blasts,  or  puffes,  to  blow  on  these  bags,  and, 
with  this  motion,  the  after-birth  will  bee  driven  forth. 

When  the  woman  is  freed  from  the  after-birth,  let  her  be  laid  in 
a  warm  bed.  Let  the  midwife  permit  her  to  He  on  which  side  shee 
pleaseth,  a  little  groveling,  pulling  somewhat  up  her  feet,  and  sometimes 
to  hold  her  breath  a  little,  and  sleightly  to  strain  downward,  as  though 
shee  would  break  wind,  and  to  stroke,  with  her  own  hands,  her  belly 
towards  her  navel  and  flanks,  when  that  shee  finds  any  disquietings  in 
her  body.  By  these  wayes  all  clods  of  blood,  and  what  might  casually 
bee  left  remaining  in  the  womb,  will  be  expelled,  and  driven  forth.  And, 
at  the  woman's  desire,  let  her  turne  on  the  other  side,  keeping  her  feet 
warm,  with  the  rest  of  her  body.  Tor  which  intent,  shee  may  keep  on 
her  stockins,  to  avoid  cold,  and  lay  warm  woollens  to  her  feet,  for  cold 
is  hurtfull  to  a  woman  hi  child-bed. 

By  such  doings  the  woman  will  bee  much  refreshed,  and  eased 
in  her  sufferings,  and  there  will  happen  no  inconveniency,  by  lying  on 
either  side,  as  shee  best  liketh,  contrary  'to  the  thoughts  of  foolish 
opinionated  midwives. 

If  it  be  feared,  That  some  part  of  the  after-birth  should  remaine 
unfetched  away,  do  not  again  make  a  new  searching  for  it  in  the  womb ; 
but  lay  emplastrum  Hystericum,  or  Galbanum,  spread  on  leather,  to  the 
navel,  and  anoint  the  birth-place  with  Balsamum  Hystericum,  and  anoint 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


under  her  nostrils  with  oile  of  amber,  or  smel  to  Galbanum,  and  all 
will  succeed  well,  and,  usually,  after  a  refreshing  sleep,  when  that  the 
woman  maketh  water,  the  remaining  part  will  come  away,  and,  with  the 
water,  it  droppeth  into  the  chamber-pot. 

A  Scholemaster's  wife  in  Staffordshire  sent  for  mee,  and  said,  that 
shee  expected  that  day,  or  that  night  ensuing,  to  bee  delivered,  and  was 
troubled,  for  that  shee  was  disappointed  by  her  midwife,  and  desired  my 
assistance.  I  intreated  her  to  keep  her  warm  bed.  At  six  o' clock  that 
night  shee  sent  again  for  mee.  At  present,  there  were  little  signs  of  la- 
bour, but  ordinary  grumblings,  and  grinding  paines.  But  within  a 
little  space  afterward  shee  had  throws.  Having  my  finger  anointed,  I 
found  that  the  womb  began  to  open.  Presently  after,  a  second  throw 
followed,  and  the  waters  gathered,  and  did  much  increase.  After  the 
third  throw  the  waters  flowed,  and  a  living  child  followed  the  waters, 
and  was  easily  borne.  The  after-birth  was  immediately  fetched  and  shee 
was  speedily,  and  happily,  delivered,  Anno  1649. 

A  naturall 

This  birth  was  so  speedy,  that  the  woman  had  not  time  to  turn 
herself,  but  the  child  was  borne  as  shee  lay  on  her  side. 

But  Goodwife  Ann  Frith,  a  woman  in  Derby,  1646,  having  a  hard 
and  long  labour,  was  much  haled  and  pulled  by  her  midwife,  that  hoped, 
through  much  tugging,  quickly  to  deliver  her.  So  that  the  lips  of  the 
vulva  were  greatly  swelled,  and  turned  outward,  and  became  discoloured, 
with  sundry  colours. 

The  midwife,  supposing  these  swellings  to  be  part  of  the  after- 
birth, thrust  her  fingers  into  them ;  forthwith  the  blood  spirted  on  the 
midwife's  face,  and  ran  down  her  gorget.     Upon  this  I  was  sent  for. 

A  naturall 
birth  made 


Observations  in  Midwifery \  by 

I  found  the  child  dead,  I  drew  it  with  the  crochet, 
weaknes,  and  lived  about  twenty  yeares  afterward. 

Shee  recovered  her 

By  these  reports  you  may  see  nature's  wayes.  In  the  first,  how 
easily  shee  was  helped,  in  due  time,  by  warm  keeping,  without  strug- 
ling.  In  the  second,  the  ill  event ;  through  too  much  officious  igno- 
rance of  the  midwife,  crossing  nature  by  her  strivings,  and  starving  the 
birth  with  cold. 

Dr.  Harvey  saith,  That,  in  a  natural  and  genuine  birth,  two  things 
are  required,  winch  are  assistant  the  one  to  the  other ;  that  is  to  say,  the 
woman  in  travaile,  and  the  foetus,  which  is  to  bee  produced.  Both 
which,  except  they  bee  ripe  for  the  busines,  the  birth  is  hardly  succes- 
full.  For  if  the  fetus,  being  disquieted,  and  coveting  to  bee  enlarged, 
do  prevent  his  parent,  by  exciting  her,  and  offering  violence  to  her 
womb  :  Or,  if  the  mother,  by  reason  of  her  infirmity  of  her  retention 
(as  if  her  womb  were  disturbed  with  a  kind  of  nauseousnes)  or,  by  some 
necessity  of  expulsion,  bee  beforehand  with  the  infant ;  the  birth  is  to 
be  reputed  a  disease,  or  symptome,  rather  than  a  naturall,  or  criticall 
production.  As  also,  when  some  parts  of  the  conception  escape  out,  and 
others  are  still  retained  within,  namely,  if  the  foetus  attempt  a  depar- 
ture ere  the  after -burden  bee  dismissed  from  the  sides  of  the  womb  :  or 
else  the  after-burden,  on  the  contrary,  bee  loose  from  the  uterus,  the 
foetus  being  not  rightly  composed,  nor  the  uterus  relaxed,  for  the  accom- 
modation of  the  work. 

And,  therefore,  the  younger,  more  giddy,  and  officious  midwives 
are  to  bee  rebuked,  which,  when  they  hear  the  women  in  travail  cry  out 
for  pain,  and  call  for  help,  least  they  should  seem  unskilfull,  and  lesse 
busy  then  comes  to  their  share,  by  daubing  their  hands  over  with  oiles, 
and  distending  the  parts  of  the  uterus,  do  mightily  bestir  themselves, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


and  provoke  the  expulsive  faculty  by  medicinall  potions ;  so  that,  being 
impatient  of  a  competent  expectation,  by  their  desire  to  hasten  and  pro- 
mote the  birth,  they  do  rather  retard  and  pervert  it,  and  make  it  an 
unnaturall  and  difficult  delivery ;  and,  leaving  the  membranes,  or  some 
part  of  the  after-burden,  still  adherent  to  the  womb,  they  do  both  expose 
the  poor  woman  to  the  injuries  of  the  aire,  and,  vainly  perswading  them 
to  their  stooles,  weary  them  out,  and  bring  them  in  danger  of  their 

Hee  saith  farther,  That  it  is  much  happier  with  poor  women,  and 
those  that  dare  not  own  their  great  bellies,  where  the  midwives  help  is 
never  required.  Tor  the  longer  they  retain  and  retard  the  birth,  the 
easier  and  more  successful  proves  the  delivery. 

In  the  unfortunate  dayes,  when  Sir  John  Gell  Baronet,  then 
Colonell  of  Darby,  and  Mr.  Thomas  Gell,  Iris  brother,  Lieutenant  and 
Eecorder  of  Darby,  and  Mullanus  Evankt  Iris  Major  Lieutenant,  and 
Mr.  Dolton,  Major,  Anno  1647,  There  happened  that  a  comely,  well  fa- 
voured servant  was  gotten  with  child  in  Darby.  Nobody  mistrusted  her 
belly.  Shee  lay  in  the  same  room,  where  her  mistris  lodged,  in  a 
truckle  bed,  at  her  bed's  feet,  where,  in  the  night,  shee  was  delivered 
without  any  midwife,  not  making  any  noise,  or  uttering  any  sorrowfull 
complaint.  Presently  after  her  delivery  shee  arose,  and  took  up  the 
child,  and  carried  it  away  into  a  remote  place,  and  hid  it  in  the  botom 
of  a  feather-tub,  and  covered  it  with  feathers,  and  so  returned  to  her 
bed  again,  and  was  not  mistrusted  by  her  mistris,  or  any  one  of  the 

A  most  easy 

birth  without 

the  midwife's 


It  was  then  the  custome  of  Darby  souldiers  to  peep  in  the  night 
through  windows,  where  they  espied  light.     By  them  her  secret  doings 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

were  discovered,  and  at  the  Sessions  in  Darby  shee  had,  afterward,  her 

But,  in  those  lawles  dayes,  the  Jury  would  not  find  her  guilty  of 
murder,  for  that  shee  was  an  handsome,  comely  creature,  and  beloved  of 
the  souldiers,  that  then  pitied  her  misfortunes.  For  which  reason  John 
Shaw,  the  foreman  of  the  Jury,  pitying  the  woman,  and  willing  to  in- 
gratiate the  souldiers  to  bee  his  friends,  would  not  find  her  guilty,  and 
said,  hee  thought  it  no  reason  that  a  woman  should  be  hanged  for  a 
mistaken  harsh  word  or  two  in  the  Statute. 

The  souldiers  smiled,  and  rejoyced  at  her  delivery.  But  some  of 
Darby  Magistrates  frowned,  and  were  offended,  but  they  durst  not 
shew,  or  utter  their  thoughts  in  words,  or  deeds,  for  the  cause  afore- 

I  have  heard  simple  women  much  to  commend  haling,  torturing 
midwives,  and  to  account  them  good  and  expert  in  their  callings.  For 
that,  in  the  woman's  labour,  they  took  great  paines  to  deliver  them,  and 
that  the  sweat  did  run  down  their  faces,  in  performing  of  their  work  to 
deliver  their  women. 

But,  surely,  these  women  never  felt  their  doings,  and  I  know  that 
it  may  prove  a  blessed  happines,  to  travailing  women,  to  have  such  mid- 
wives  at  a  remote  and  great  distance  to  bee  sent  for,  when  the  paines 
first  approach.  So  they  may  escape  severall  tortures  and  mischiefes, 
procured  by  such  midwives. 

In  the  meane  time,  friendly  nature,  the  best  of  midwives,  keepeth 
them  warm,  and  quiet,  on,  or  in,  their  beds,  putting  them  to  no  harsh 
usage  in  the   midwife's    absence;    and,    through    her    mildnes,    and 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


comfortable  assistance,  the  child  is  oft  easily  bom,  before  the  laborious, 
and  ignorant  midwife  commeth. 

Frequent  reports  have  often  published  the  very  same  truth,  from 
the  mouths  of  such  poor,  unfortunate  creatures,  as  have  publickly  la- 
mented their  mishaps,  before  their  downfall  under  the  gallows. 

I  have  known  severall  creatures  of  this  gang,  and  their  fellow  fol- 
lowers in  ill  fortunes.  But  I  never  heard  that  any  of  them  complained 
of  a  painfull,  or  hard  delivery ;  but  that  nature  left  them  so  strong,  that 
they  were  able  to  go  about  their  usuall  works,  and  to  perform  their  ser- 
vices, without  making  any  halt  in  their  employments. 

I  was  well  acquainted  with  a  servant,  that  worked  all  the  day 
long  without  any  dismaying  or  complaint,  Anno  1651.  A  little  space 
before  supper  shee  went  to  bed.  After  supper  one  of  the  Ladie's 
daughters  came  to  see  what  ailed  her.  Shee,  poor  creature,  turned  the 
cloths  of  the  bed,  and  shewed  her  a  child,  as  good  as  born,  without  any 
midwife's  help,  and  shee  and  the  child  did  well,  and  they  both  were 
living  1669. 

E.  T.,  of  Hampton  Bidway,  This  unfortunate  woman,  being  in  bed 
with  her  sister,  rose  up,  and  went  into  an  out-house,  and  there  was  de- 
livered of  a  child.  Shee  returned  quickly  again  into  her  bed.  Her  go- 
ing and  returning  was  not  perceived  by  her  sleeping  sister.  Being  mis- 
trusted by  her  neighbours,  and  some  woman,  upon  suspicion,  being  sent 
to  search  her,  without  any  ado  shee  confessed  her  wickedness,  and  showed 
them  the  place  where  the  child  was  buried.  Shee  was  asked  by  the 
Coroner,  why  shee  had  not  a  midwife  to  assist  and  help  her  in  her  la- 
bour. Shee  answered,  that  shee  needed  no  help,  or  assistance,  and  that 
shee  was  well  enough  delivered  without  a  midwife,  and  that  shee  was  so 

Ara  easy 
naturall  birth. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

well,  that  shee  could  have  gone  twenty  miles  the  day  following.  Shee 
was  sent  to  Stafford  Gaole,  from  thence  shee  was  conveyed  to  the  place 
of  execution,  where  shee  ended  her  sorrowful!  life  with  great  repentance 
Mar.  31,  1670. 

iAnd  why  may  not  this  woman's  confession  bee  received,  without 
any  other  testimony,  to  confirm  what  I  have  oft  said,  and  severall  wo- 
men have  found  to  bee  very  true,  That  midwives  bee  very  convenient  to 
assist  travailing  women,  but  that  they  bee  not  absolutely  necessary,  to 
help  in  their  extremities,  unles  it  bee  in  an  unnaturall  and  difficult  birth. 

And  this  is  recorded  by  Dr.  Harvey.  The  memorable  relation 
was  delivered  to  him  from  the  noble  Lord,  George  Carew,  Baron  of  Tot- 
nes,  and,  for  a  long  time,  President  of  Munster  in  Ireland,  who  also 
wrote  the  Annals  of  those  times. 

There  was  a  woman,  big  with  child,  which  followed  her  husband, 
who  was  a  souldier  in  the  Army,  being  daily  in  motion,  was,  it  seemes, 
forced  to  make  a  halt,  by  reason  of  a  little  river,  that  ran  crosse  the 
place,  whither  they  intended  to  march.  Whereupon  the  poor  woman, 
finding  her  labour  come  upon  her,  retired  to  the  next  thicket;  and 
alone  by  her  selfe,  without  any  midwife,  or  other  preparation,  brought 
forth  twins,  which  shee  presently  carried  to  the  river,  and  there  washed 
both  her  self,  and  them,  which  done,  shee  wrapt  the  infants  in  a  course 
cloth,  and  tied  them  to  her  back,  and  that  very  day  marched  along  with 
the  Army  twelve  miles  together  barefooted,  and  was  never  the  worse  for 
the  matter. 

The  next  day  after,  the  Deputy  of  Ireland,  the  Lord  M  ountjoy 
(who,  at  that  time,  was  Generall  of  the  Army  against  the  Spaniard  at 
the  seige  of  Kinsale)  and  the  President  of  Munster,  being  affected  at 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  strangnes  of  the  story,  did  both  vouchsafe  to  bee  Godfathers  to  the 

There  is  a  generall  report  That  the  wild  Irish,  when  their  pangs 
of  labour  come  on  them,  will  arise,  and  leave  their  company,  and,  going 
into  a  ditch,  will  there  bee  suddenly  delivered.  And,  returning  from 
thence,  will  bring  their  infants  wrapped  in  their  coats  with  them. 

I  believe  that  their  doings  may  bee  paralleled  by  some  of  our  En- 
glish women.  For  there  was  a  great  woman's  servant, whose  breasts 
were  pressed,  and  her  belly  violated  by  her  master's  misdeeds. 

In  time,  when  shee  did  grow  big,  her  mistrisse,  perceiving  that 
all  was  not  right  honest  with  her,  turned  her  out  of  her  house. 

This  creature,  going  over  a  larg,  long  Common,  was  suddenly 
surprized  with  pangs  of  labour,  and  there  delivered  in  the  open  cold  aire. 

After  the  Irish  mode,  shee  brought  this  infant  (her  son)  home  to 
her  friends,  shee  was  not  dismaid,  or  injured  with  the  coldnes  of  the 
place,  shee  well  recovered,  her  son,  being  well  nursed,  and  educated  be- 
came a  lusty  man.     Hee  lived  long,  and  died  master  of  a  great  estate. 

Dr.  William  Sermon  saith  in  his  English  Midwife,  fol:  96,  That 
it  would  be  almost  a  miracle  to  see  a  woman  delivered  without  paine. 
Though  I  am  apt  to  beleeve,  that  the  wife  of  Thomas  James  did  enjoy 
that  happines,  whom  I  saw  delivered  of  a  lusty  child,  in  a  wood  by  her 
self,  which  presently  after  shee  took  the  child,  and  put  it  into  her  a- 
pron,  with  some  oaken  leaves,  and  marched  stoutly  with  it  almost  half  a 
mile,  to  an  uncle's  house  of  mine ;  where  shee  got  sufficient  entertain- 
ment for  the  time  shee  would  stay,  and,  within  two  houres,  her  child, 
and  her  self,  being  refreshed,  shee  would  no  longer  bee  treated;  but,  in 

2  p 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

the  manner  aforesaid,  (linen  which  the  child  had  about  it,  onely  excepted) 
took  her  journey  a  long  mile  farther,  not  in  the  lest  discouraged;  and, 
the  next  day,  came  and  returned  hearty  thanks.  This  accident  happen- 
ed as  shee  walked  home-ward  from  a  market-town,  in  the  yeare  1644; 
the  manner  of  which  I  saw,  being,  accidentally,  placed  under  a  hedg 
(purposely,)  to  shoot  a  hare,  that  I  knew  frequented  the  place  where 
shee  was  delivered. 

But  Dr.  Jacobus  Primrose  saith  in  his  cap:  7 ,  de  difficili  partu, 
fol:  300,  Nee  absq:  dolore  partus  naturalis  fieri  solet.  Malum  eiiim  est 
si  ille  evanescat,  ut  in  muliere  gravida  observavi,  quse  subinde  laborans 
absq:  ullis  torminibus,  et  obstetricis  ope,  exclusit  foetmn,  quern  claman- 
tem  adstantes  mulieres  audiverunt,  hincq:  mortem  prredixi,  quee  sequenti 
die  secuta  est. 

In  the  dayes  of  ignorance  I  was  requested  by  a  Gentlewoman  to 
assist  her  midwife  in  the  time  of  her  labour. 

The  Gentlewoman  then  knew  no  way  usefull  for  her  delivery,  and 
I,  at  that  time,  knew  very  little  of  the  handy  operation  of  midwives, 
more  then  by  drawing  with  the  crochet.  So  I  gave  way  unto  the  mid- 
wife to  hale,  and  pul,  and  stretch  the  woman's  body  as  shee  pleased,  not 
knowing  then  any  better  practice.  So  the  midwife  tormented  her  from 
six  in  the  morning  untill  six  at  night,  using  violence  to  the  birth-place, 
and,  sometimes,  in  the  fundament;  upon  every  small  throw  haling  and 
stretching  her  body,  to  enlarg  the  passages,  keeping  her  all  this  long 
time  either  kneeling,  or  sitting  on  a  woman's  lap. 

God  released  the  woman  from  the  midwife's  tortures,  and  both 
our  ignorances,  in  sending  her  a  gracious  delivery  after  much  suffering. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman 


Being  with  child  the  second  time,  shee  was  much  disquieted  with 
fears,  and  wept,  to  think  what  shee  had  suffered,  and  was  likely  again 
to  undergo.  Shee  desired  again  my  company  to  bee  with  her  in  her  la- 
bour. I  Avillingly  granted  her  request,  and  desired  her  to  keep  her  self 
warm  and  quiet  in  bed,  untill  I  could  come  in  unto  her,  in  case  that  I 
was  not  at  home. 

Grumbling  paines  came  upon  her  in  the  night,  the  next  morning 
shee  sent  early  unto  mee  a  messenger  to  acquaint  mee  with  her  condi- 
tion. I  was  twelve  miles  from  her  house;  within  two  or  three  houres 
after  her  messenger  was  gone,  the  birth  so  much  approached  that  shee 
was  forced  to  arise.  Shee  sent  for  her  midwife  to  come;  whilest  that 
shee  hastily  bound  up  her  head,  at  the  midwife's  comming  shee  was 
quickly  delivered,  troubling  her  no  more  but  to  receive  the  child. 

I  hasted  to  go  with  her  messenger.  I  found  her,  at  my  com- 
ming, easily  and  safely  delivered,  and  chearfull,  and  shee,  with  the  child, 
in  a  good,  lively  condition.  ' 

After  this  time  being  in  Staffordshire  with  a  worthy  good  man,  T 
saw  his  wife  great  with  child.  Shee  told  mee  what  terrible  afflictions 
shee  had  suffered  in  the  birth  of  her  first  child,  and  wept  much  at  the 
remembrance  of  them.  Shee  intreated  mee  that  I  would  come  unto  her 
in  the  time  of  her  labour,  and  for  that  purpose  shee  would  send  good 
horses  for  mee.  I  gave  her  instructions  to  lie  quietly  in,  or  on,  her  bed 
untill  1  could  come  in  unto  her,  and  not  suddenly  to  put  herself  under 
her  midwife's  hands.  Shee  sent  mee  horses.  I  went  eight  miles  unto 
her.  In  the  mean  time  shee  kept  her  body  warm,  and  lay  quiet.  So 
soone  as  I  was  come  shee  sent  for  mee  into  her  chamber.  Going  with 
her  midwife  apart  from  the  company,  I  asked  her  how  this  Gentlewoman 


Mrs.  Shaw, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Goad  wife 


was,  and  what  shee  thought  of  the  birth.  Shee  replied,  That  shee  could 
not  tell,  and  that  in  all  her  days  shee  never  was  with  so  peevish  a 
woman,  and  that  shee  would  not  suffer  her  to  touch  her  body.  I  sate 
by  this  Gentlewoman  a  little  space,  and,  perceiving  that  labour  came 
upon  her,  I  went  forth  of  the  roome,  putting  her  under  the  midwife's 
hands.  The  waters  issued  without  enforcement,  presently  the  child 
followed  them,  and  shee  was  easily,  and  quickly,  delivered. 

When  I  went  away,  shee  gave  God  thanks,  and  said,  that  her 
paines  were  nothing,  in  comparison  to  what  shee  had  formerly  suffered. 

I  have  delivered,  through  God's  gracious  permission,  a  Gentle- 
woman of  severall  children.  I  alwayes  entreated  her  to  keep  herself  warm 
in  bed,  or  else  rest  much  on  her  pallet;  and,  if  that  shee  was  bound  in  her 
body,  alwayes  take  a  washing  clyster  before  her  labour  approached ;  and 
in  no  way  to  force  her  labour.  I  did  not  compel  her  to  keep  her  bed  or 
pallet,  but  desired  her,  in  the  time  of  her  travaile,  not  to  have  her 
chamber  thronged  with  much  company. 

'Shee  ever  performed  my  desires,  shee  was  alwayes  delivered  on  a 
pallet-  bed.  I  never  forced  her  body;  but,  after  the  issuing  of  the  wa- 
ters with  a  few  through  throwes,  shee  was  ever  happily,  and  quickly,  de- 
livered, by  warm  keeping,  with  quietness. 

From  the  bodies  of  these  three  last  women  mentioned,  as  also  in 
others  I  took  this  observation,  That  those  women  were  easiest,  or  soonest 
delivered,  that  kept  themselves  warm,  and  quiet,  in,  or  on,  their  beds  or 
pallets,  deferring  their  labours  to  the  very  last,  and  patiently  suffering 
nature  to  bedew,  with  humours,  those  places,  and  so  to  mellow  and 
open,  by  degrees,  their  bodies,  without  midwives    enforcements. 

Being  in  Allhallowes  Church  in  Darby  at  morning  prayer,  there 
was  a  young  woman  prayed  for  that  was  in  great  extremity  in  travaile. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


That  night,,  about  nine  of  the  clock,  some  women  came  to  me, 
desiring  my  counsel!  for  her  delivery. 

I  appointed  an  ordinary  clyster  and  willed.  That  shee  should  have, 
after  that  it  came  from  her,  two  ounces  of  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  mixed 
with  posset  drink,  given  her  to  drink ;  yet,  for  all  this,  the  extremities, 
with  tortures  in  her  back,  continued,  and  no  labour  followed.  Her 
midwife  was  crosse-gained,  and  sufficiently  ignorant,  and  a  great  tugger 
of  womens  bodies. 

In  her  sufferings,  about  half  an  houre  past  twelve  in  the  night, 
shee  called  all  the  women  hard  hearted  Jewes,  for  that  they  did  not  send 
for  mee. 

I  came  to  her  about  one  of  the  clock  in  that  night,  shee  had  great 
tortures  in  her  back,  the  which  I  caused  to  be  anointed  with  oile  of 
charity,  and,  afterward,  to  her  back  I  laid  the  emplaster  de  smegmate, 
spread  on  leather. 

So  the  bitter  paines  were  somewhat  mitigated.  I  gave  her  the 
quantity  of  a  great  nutmeg  of  Lucatella's  Balsam,  wrapped  in  a  wafer, 
nevertheless  her  paines  continued  very  sharp. 

I  anointed  the  os  pubis  and  os  coccygis  and  the  birth-part  with 
Balsamum  hystericum,  and  conveyed  a  spoonfull  of  it  to  os  matricis,  then 
presently  the  pain  removed  from  the  back,  the  womb  opened,  and  the 
waters  gathered  and  soon  flowed,  and  shee  was,  in  a  small  space, 
quickly  delivered  of  a  lusty  living  daughter.  When  the  after -burden 
was  fetched  I  gave  her  a  spoonfull  of  oile  of  charity,  it  freed  her  from 
all  after  troubles,  which  formerly  were  grievous  unto  her,  and  shee  was 
delivered  that  night  afore  two  of  the  clock,  June  the  20,  1661. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Dr.  Harvey  saith,  That  it  is  no  novelty  to  experienced  midwives 
that  their  women  do  sometimes  bring  forth  their  conceptions  whole  and 
entire,  without  any  breach  in  the  membranes  at  all. 

xlnd  this  kind  of  birth  seemeth  to  bee  the  most  naturally  wherein 
the  fcetus  (like  a  mellow  fruit  which  droppeth  from  the  tree,  without 
shaking  out  its  seed  before  the  time  assigned  by  nature)  is  born  with 
the  secundines  embracing  it. 

But  where  it  commeth  otherwise  to  passe,  and  that  the  after-bur- 
den doth  adhere  to  the  uterus,  after  the  child  is  borne  it  is  oftentimes 
hardly  divided  from  it,  and  doth  enduce  evil  symptomes,  which  are  ac- 
companied with  noisome  smels,  and  sometimes  with  a  gangrene,  whereby 
the  mother  is  brought  into  imminent  danger. 

Margaret  Cliffe,  the  wife  of  Thomas,  a  weaver,  dwelling  at  Newton 
in  Staffordshire,  January  the  7,  1671,  this  woman  was  delivered  of 
twins,  the  first  was  a  boy,  the  second  came  inclosed  in  the  secondine, 
and  was  a  female ;  the  midwife  laid  this  birth  in  her  lap,  and  opened 
the  secondine,  and  took  forth  the  child.  Life  "was  scarce  perceived  in 
it,  but,  by  laying  the  after -birth  on  hot  coales,  and  stroking  the  navel- 
string  toward  the  belly,  the  child  recovered  and  liveth.  This  was 
certified  to  mee  by  Margaret  Kempe,  midwife  at  Abbots  Bramley,  that 
laid  her  of  these, two  twins. 

I  never  did  see  a  birth  in  this  kind,  where  the  child  was  borne 
with  the  secondine  embracing  it ;  for  midwives,  in  difficult,  long  tra- 
vailes,  break  the  membranes  with  their  struglings,  before  they  send  for 
mee.  But  this  following  report  maketh  mention  of  a  birth  somewhat 
nigh  unto  Dr.  Harvey's  sayings  : 

A  young,  good  conditioned,  Lady  (the  Lady  Byron)  of  an  honour- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


able  family,  desired  my  company,  and  intreated  me  to  bee  with  her,  and 
to  assist  her  in  the  time  of  her  travaile,  and  in  the  meane  space  to  di- 
rect her  what  was  convenient  to  bee  done,  or  observed  by  her.  For 
severall  weeks  shee  used  the  Hystericall  Balsam,  with  which  the  birth- 
place, the  ossa  pubis  et  coccygis  were  anointed,  and  rubbed  in  with  a 
soft  hand,  very  gently,  every  night,  against  a  warme  fire.  Shee  could 
not  take  Lucatella's  Balsam,  nor  a  julep,  made  of  aqua  parietarise  et 
syrupi  capil :  veneris,  these  made  her  vomit.  I  gave  her  figs,  and  willed 
her  to  eat  white  bread  toasts,  with  fresh  butter,  every  morning.  Shee 
had  a  thin  and  weak  body,  and  was  troubled  with  great  feares,  never 
having  any  child  afore. 

August  the  thirteenth  the  moone  changed,  that  night  shee  had 
some  grumbling  disquiets,  and  the  ensuing  night  they  increased. 
Thursday,  August  the  fifteenth,  I  came  early  in  the  morning  to  her, 
and  finding  some  foregoing  signes  of  labour,  at  her  desire  shee  was  re- 
moved into  another  chamber,  and  laid  into  a  truckle  bed  about  seven  in 
the  morning. 

Shee  had  some  intermissions  of  her  paines,  and  then  she  slum- 
bered ;  shee  was  kept  quiet  and  warm  in  her  bed,  in  a  moderate  tem- 
perature of  heat.  In  the  afternoon,  about  one  of  the  clock,  the  womb 
began  to  open,  and  the  waters  leasurely  gathered,  the  child  descended 
with  them,  and  the  head  was  as  good  as  three  quarters  in  the  world  be- 
fore any  water  issued.  About  a  quarter  past  foure  shee  was  delivered 
of  a  daughter.  It  was  troublesome  to  fetch  the  after-burden  as  shee 
lay  on  her  back.  Shee  was  put  to  her  knees,  and  then  it  was  obtained 
easily,  and  so  shee  was  then  removed  into  another  bed. 

Shee  had  good,  easy  labour,  and  was  not,  afterward,  disquieted 
with  any  sorenes. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Sliee  was  apt  to  a  loosnes,  and,  in  that  respect,  I  did  not  give  her 
the  balsamum  post  partum,  but,  instead  of  it,  shee  had  caroway  comfits, 
of  which  shee  chewed  at  pleasure,  and  swallowed  the  moisture. 

The  ensuing  night  shee  slept  well,  and  the  day  following  was  free 
from  smart  and  paine.  Saturday  and  Sunday  her  breasts  began  to 
swell,  but  without  all  trouble  shee  applied  the  emplaster  Diachilon  unto 

The  child  was  baptized  Aug.  22,  1661,  and  was  named  Elizabeth. 
Aug.  the  23,  I  left  this  Lady,  giving  her  thanks  for  her  loving  favours 
to  mee.  Tins  Lady  and  her  child  were  living  1666,  as  also  in  8ber  the 
4th,  1671. 

Tliis  Lady,  afterward,  did  make  choice  of  a  midwife  that  dwelt 
some  seven  miles  from  her.  Shee  alwayes  sent  for  her  after  that  shee 
began  to  bee  in  travaile.  Before  shee  came  unto  her  the  child  was 
ready  prepared  to  come  into  the  world,  and  the  midwife  was  put  to  no 
more  trouble,  but  to  receive  it. 

And  this  passage  may  make  apparent  to  all  labouring  women, 
That  it  will  prove  a  great  happines  to  have  haling,  laborious  midwives 
at  a  remote  distance,  when  their  paines  of  labour  first  approach.  And 
I  have  heard  other  women  say,  That  some  of  their  children  were  more 
easier  borne,  then  others  of  them,  and  that  they  were  delivered  so  soon 
as  the  midwife  came. 

Let  mee  assure  such  women  that,  through  ignorance,  praise  these 
haling  midwives  without  desert;  That  they  had  a  better,  invisible  mid- 
wife to  assist  them,  Dame  Nature,  then  these  ever  were,  or  will  bee ; 
which  Eve's  midwife,  through  quiet  and  warm  keeping,  did  so  prepare 
and  made  the  birth  ready  for  another  midwife's  comming,  that  shee  had 

Percivall  Willugliby,  Gentleman. 


left  her  nothing  more  to  do,  but  to  receive  the  child,  and  fittingly  to 
dresse  and  order  it.  And  all  women  would  do  better  to  make  such 
liiidwive's  nursekeepers,  rather  then  (such  as  they  would  be  called) 

And  this  Dame  Nature,  Eve's  midwife,  hath  easily,  and  fortu- 
nately delivered  severall  women  in  the  absence  of  these  laborious 
midwives,  whilest  thai  some  other  occasions  withstood  their  speedy 

I  have  known  severall  women,  that  have  had  two  children  at  a 
birth,  some  that  have  had  three  at  a  birth,  none,  that  have  had  more, 
though  others  have  affirmed  that  they  have  known  more. 

When  I  find  twins,  so  soon  as  the  first  is  borne,  I,  presently  after, 
put  up  my  hand  anointed,  and  fetch  the  other.  If  the  membranes  were 
not  broken,  I  did  not  feare  to  break  them,  and  then  to  draw  the  second 
child  forth  by  the  feet. 

I  was  called  to  a  tayWs  wife  in  Darby,  Elizabeth  Elde,  her  mid- 
wife had  long  strugled  with  her.  The  child  offering  an  arme,  shee  had 
pulled  by  it,  in  hopes,  to  draw  the  child  forth  from  the  woman's  body 
by  her  violent  doings.  The  child's  arme  was  made  black,  and  much 
swel'd,  and  the  child  was  deprived  of  life,  and  the  arme  became  mor- 
tified. The  poor  woman  was  fearfull  of  my  help,  but  I,  with  others, 
gave  her  good  comfortable  words.  Shee  was  perswaded,  and  submitted 
to  the  women's  desires. 

After  that  I  had  placed  a  woman  sitting  on  a  truckle  bed,  with 
her  legs  spread  abroad,  and  her  feet  close  to  the  ends  of  a  short  bolster, 
laying  a  pillow  on  her  lap,  I  desired  this  labouring  woman  to  kneele  on 
the  bolster,  and  to  straddle  as   wide   as  shee  could.     1  put  her  head 


Arm . 

Gret  - 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

down  to  rest  on  the  pillow  that  was  in  the  woman's  lap.  I  did  not  re- 
duce, or  put  up,  the  bruised  arnie,  but,  sliding  my  hand  along  the  child's 
side,  I  found  a  foot,  and  did  draw  it  forth.  I  quickly  obtained  the 
other  foot,  and  then  I  did  draw  gently  both  feet  together.  The  arme 
went  up  of  it  self,  as  the  body  of  the  child  turned  round.  I  brought 
the  child  past  the  navel,  and  turned  the  face  of  it  to  the  back  of  the 
woman.  T  put  my  finger  into  the  child's  mouth,  and  so  pressed  down 
the  chin  upon  the  throat ;  and  then  again  I  drew  gently  by  the  feet  with 
my  other  hand,  and  shee  was  quickly  delivered  with  ease,  contrary  to  all 
the  thoughts  of  the  women  present  hi  the  chamber,  of  a  dead  female 

And,  for- that  shee  had  another  child  in  the  womb,  I  did  not  fetch 
the  after-birth,  but  put  her  into  a  warm  bed,  and,  upon  some  thoughts 
deferred  the  present  proceeding  for  the  delivery  of  the  other  child,  wil- 
ling the  midwife  to  let  mee  know  when  the  waters  flowed  for  the  second 
birth.  But  this  unworthy,  self-wil'd  midwife,  hoping  to  demur  her  off, 
never  called  mee.  I  came  againe  unto  her  some  foure  houres  afterward, 
and  the  waters  had  issued.  I  found  the  woman  raving,  and  talking 
idly.  I  gave  her  good  words,  and,  through  the  perswasions  of  her 
friends,  shee  was  brought  to  kneele.  Then,  by  the  feet,  I  quickly  de- 
livered her  of  a  weak,  yet  living,  child.  The  twins  were  of  diverse 
sexes,  and  this  woman  had  two  severall  after-births,  and  they  were  both 
brought  away,  the  one  after  the  other.  Sbee  had  not  any  forcing  pain, 
or  throw  upon  her,  when  I  put  up  my  hand  to  fetch  the  children  by  the 
feet.  The  woman  thanked  God  for  her  speedy  delivery,  and  much  re- 
joy  ced  at  her  sudden  help. 

The  last  child  was  a  boy,  hee  lived  two  or  three  dayes,  and  then 
died.     The  woman  recovered,  and  hath  since  assured  inee,  That  shee 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


would  never  feare  mee  more,  but  that,  in  case  of  extremity,  sliee  would 
refer  herself  to  God,  and  mee,  rather  then  to  any  midwife  living. 

I  believe,  upon  after  considerations,  that  it  had  been  much  bet- 
ter for  Goodwife  Elde,  and  her  child,  if  that  I  had  not  deferred  the 
second  birth,  but  had  delivered  her  again  forthwith  of  the  other  child, 
by  the  child's  feet. 

The  deferring  happened  through  some  thoughts,  which  came  into 
my  memory,  from  a  discourse,  in  former  time,  between  mee,  and  a  good 
kinswoman  of  mine  (Mrs.  Willughby)  that  was  a  long  experimented 
midwife,  of  much  practice,  and  of  good  repute  with  women,  dwelling 
in  Westminster  and  London.  This  good  woman  assured  mee,  That 
shee  had  laid  severall  women  of  twins,  and  that  shee  never  forced  the 
second  birth  by  breaking  of  the  waters,  and  that  shee  had  left  these 
women  for  six  houres,  or  longer,  and,  after  her  comming  again,  that 
then  shee  had  delivered  them  safely  of  the  second  child. 

All  this,  for  the  worth  of  the  good  woman,  I  beleeved,  but  never 
had  made  experiment  of  it ;  yet,  for  Goodwife  Eld's  sake,  I  should  (if 
occasion  served)  never  againe  defer  the  second  birth,  but  chuse  rather 
to  deliver  the  woman  so  soon,  as  possible  I  could,  of  the  other,  after 
that  the  first  child  was  borne. 

Mrs.  Judith  Ward  of  Darby,  having  twins,  the  wench  was  de- 
livered by  the  midwife ;  but  the  second  twin  (a  boy)  could  not  break 
the  membranes,  although  hee  much  strugled  for  a  long  time.  I  began 
to  fear  her  life,  and  the  losse  of  the  child.  Therefore,  to  preserve  both, 
I  slid  up  my  anointed  hands,  I  brake  the  membranes,  I  took  the  child 
forth  by  the  feet,  and  hee  lived  a  yeare,  and  then  died. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


Pareus  saith,  If  there  be  severall  children  in  the  womb  at  once, 
and  of  different  sexes,  they  have  every  one  then  severall  secon  dines, 
which  thing  is  very  necessary  to  bee  known  by  all  midwives.  I  advise 
the  midwife,  that  shee  look  for  the  navel-string  in  all  births  of  twins,  and 
see,  whether  they  bee  not  included  both  in  one  secondine.  If  they  bee, 
then  there  bee  not  two  secondines.  I  have  seen  this  thing,  although 
the  infants  were  of  diverse  sexes,  included  in  the  same  membrane,  and 
these  navel-strings  were  a  span  distance  the  one  from  the  other. 

After  the  last  child  was  borne,  this  woman  oft  fainted,  and  was  as 
good  as  gon.  But,  by  spirting  aqua  vitas  up  into  her  nostrils,  shee 
again  revived,  the  which  was  done  as  oft  as  occasion  required.  Mar : 
18,  1663. 

She  conceived  again  with  child  about  a  yeare  and  a  half  after  tins. 
In  the  time  of  her  labour,  the  child's  head  was  found  too  great  for  the 
passage.  To  preserve  both,  through  hopes  that  the  child  might  bee 
alive,  I  turned  the  birth  from  the  head  to  the  feet,  and  the  infant  was 
drawn  forth  by  the  feet ;  after  that  she  had  suffered  above  twenty  foure 
houres  in  extremity,  and  that  all  hopes  of  delivery,  by  a  naturall  and 
usuall  way,  were  extinct. 

Shee  conceived  again  the  third  time,  with  pain  and  much  suf- 
fering ;  and  shee  was  then  delivered  by  her  midwife.  The  child  lived 
half  a  yeare,  and  then  died. 

I  was  sent  for  again,  July  1,  the  fourth  time,  1671,  shee  was 
delivered  before  I  came. 

January  the  fifteenth,  anno  1665,  I  was  sent  for  to  Thurnestone, 
three  mile  from  Darby,  to  deliver  Elianor  Cripple,  a  shepheard's  wife. 
I  found  the  first   child  dead,  and  that  it  smelt,  so  I  drew  it  with  the 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


crochet.    And  it  was  thought  that  this  child  was  killed  by  the  midwife's 
violent  struglings. 

For  the  second  child  I  slid  up  my  anointed  hands,  forthwith  I 
brake  the  membranes ;  I  quickly  delivered  her,  drawing  the  child  forth 
by  the  feet. 

When  hee  was  born,  hee  had  two  teeth  in  his  lower  jaw,  wlute 
and  long ;  his  body  was  of  a  very  swarthy,  muddy  colour.  But  after  a 
small  time  hee  became  reddish,  and  well  favoured,  and  cried  very  loudly. 
The  mother  and  the  child  bee  both  living. 

In  her  weaknes  I  went  foure  times  to  see  her,  and  shee  com- 
plained very  sadly  to  mee,  how  one  of  the  midwives  (that  was  a  young 
woman)  had  afflicted  her  through  much  pulling,  and  stretching  her 

I  saw  this  woman,  with  her  child.  They  were  both  well,  and  in 
health,  Mar;  the  19,  1667—8. 

The  two  teeth,  with  which  hee  was  born,  were  turned  very  black, 
all  the  rest  were  white,  and  the  mother  since  hath  told  me  that  hee  hath 
cast  these  two  teeth. 

And  I  find  by  experience,  That  as  soon  as  the  first  child  is  born, 
if  that  the  membranes  bee  not  broken,  that  it  will  bee  the  best  way 
forthwith  to  break  them,  and  speedily  to  deliver  the  woman  of  the  other 
child  by  the  feet,  whilest  that  the  passage  is  open,  and  much  dilated ; 
the  longer  it  is  deferred,  the  more  will  the  woman  suffer  through  the 
closing,  and  swelling,  that  usually  followeth  those  places. 

March  the  first,  ]  667,  I  was  called  to  Ocbrook,  to  Elizabeth  the 
wife  of  Thomas  Holland.     I  found  two   midwives  with  her,   shee  had 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

twins.  And  the  first  child  (a  female)  did  thrust  forth  an  arme,  by  which 
the  child  was  pulled  by  the  midwives,  and,  afterward,,  it  was  forced  up 
into  her  body,  and,  between  these  midwives,  the  arme,  nigh  unto  the 
shoulder,  was  broken,  and  the  child  deprived  of  life. 

This  woman  was  much  spent,  and  made  very  sore,  and  swel'd,  be- 
fore my  comming. 

I  placed  the  woman  kneeling  on  a  bolster.  I  put  down  her  head 
to  a  pillow,  that  was  laid  in  a  woman's  lap,  sitting  afore  her.  Then, 
sliding  up  my  hand  over  the  child's  arme,  I  easily  obtained  a  foot,  but 
could  not  well  hold  it,  being  very  slippery,  untill  I  laid  my  forefinger 
beyond  the  child's  heel,  and,  holding  it  between  my  fingers,  with  the 
foot  placed  long  wayes  in  my  hand  griped,  with  some  striving  I  brought 
the  foot  to  light,  but  could  not  well  hold  it  untill  I  took  it  in  a  linen 
cloth,  and  the  child,  afterward,  would  not  remove,  until  I  forced  the 
shoulder  a  little  backward,  by  thrusting  up  the  arme,  which  was  fixed 
in  the  neck  of  the  womb  ;  and  then  the  body  easily  turned  round. 

I  drew  the  child  by  the  foot,  untill  it  came  nigh  to  the  twist  of 
the  body,  and  then,  finding  the  other  foot,  lying  on  the  belly,  I  put  my 
middle  finger  between  the  thigh  and  the  child's  belly,  and  drawing  easily 
by  my  finger,  and  by  the  foot,  I  brought  it  to  the  neck,  and,  having 
turned  the  child's  face  to  the  back  of  the  woman,  I  put  my  finger  into 
the  dead  child's  mouth,  then,  drawing  by  the  feet,  shee  was  quickly  laid, 
without  any  throws  or  enforcements  from  the  womb,  of  this  female 

The  second  child  was  a  male  child.  I  fetched  him  by  the  feet; 
and  hee  was  easily  and  quickly  borne  alive. 

In  the  same  uterine  cake,  in  winch  both  these  infants  were  in- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


eluded,  I  found  both  navel-strings,  a  span  distant,  the  one   from   the 
other,  having  the  several  navel-strings  united  to  that  membrane. 

And,  therefore,  it  is  not  alwayes  certaine,  that  infants  of  diverse 
sexes  should  bee  folded  in  several!  secondines,  (as  Pareus  would  have 
it)  for  I  took  great  observation  of  this  secondine,  and  of  the  diverse 
sexes,  and  I  speake  no  more,  but  what  I  saw,  and  found  to  be  true  in 
these  infants  so  placed  in  their  mother's  womb. 

After  the  woman's  delivery,  I  much  feared  that  shee  would  not 
have  recovered  her  weaknes ;  for  that  her  face,  hands  and  feet  were  very 
cold,  her  spirits  weake,  her  speech  very  low,  and  her  strength  much  en- 
feebled, and  shee  had  a  weake  pulse. 

Her  cold  hands  and  feet  were  wrapped  in  warm  cloths,  and  over 
her  lips  was  held  a  warm  hand,  hollowish ;  that  her  breath  by  reverbe- 
rating against  the  hand,  might  returne  warme  againe  upon  her  face ; 
and  over  the  hand  and  face  was  spread  a  thin  linen  cloth,  warmed  :  and 
sometimes  a  warme  face  was  laid  to  her  cold  cheeks,  and,  by  these 
wayes,  with  warme  and  quiet  keeping,  beyond  expectation,  through 
God's  permission,  shee  recovered.  And  these  wayes,  by  the  hand,  for 
renewing  heat  in  her,  T  learned  and  observed  from  the  midwives. 

The  weake-born  child  lived,  but  could  not  suck.  It  was  fed  with 
boiled  milk,  thickened  with  white  bread  and  sweetened  with  sugar.  I 
saw  the  mother  Anno  1669.  Shee  said  that  her  son  lived,  and  was 
able  to  go  about  the  house. 

In  Stafford,  Anno  1655,  a  poor  labouring  man's  wife  was  brought 
to  bed  in  the  night  of  a  child,  the  midwife  could  not  find  the 
after-burden,  and  my  help  was  desired  in  the  next  morning.  I  went 
unto  her,   I  found  that  shee  had  another  child.     I  drew  away  the  dead 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

child  by  the  feet,   and  the  woman  recovered ;  her  husband  was  a  sawer 
of  timber. 

A  young  woman  in  Darby,  Nov:  1671,  had  a  slip  and  stumbled, 
but  did  not  fall,  being  great  with  child,  in  the  eigth  moneth  of  her 
going  with  child.  Shee  continued  in  pain  a  whole  week  afterward,  and 
the  last  foure  dayes  her  paines  were  great.  I  was  called,  the  14th. 
day,  die  Solis,  and  a  little  before  my  comming,  the  waters  had  issued. 
When  I  came  into  the  chamber,  the  midwife  told  mee  that  the  child 
came  right.  But  I  saw  a  great  deale  of  blood  lying  on  the  floore,  the 
winch,  I  believed,  happened  by  the  midwife's  haling  of  her  body.  And 
I  perceived  that  the  woman  was  unwilling  to  continue  under  the  mid- 
wife's hands.  Not  long  after,  a  child  was  born,  and  there  appeared 
another  child.  I  feared  the  woman's  life,  for  that  again  shee  lost  much 
blood,  and  it  did  run  upon  the  floore  in  a  streame.  About  half  an  houre 
afterward  shee  was  delivered  of  a  second  child,  and  when  the  after -bur- 
den •  was  fetched  away  the  flux  of  blood  stopped.  Shee  was  weak  a 
week  and  more.  One  of  the  twins  was  weake,  yet  shee  and  her  twins 
Avere  alive  December  the  13. 

The  twins  were  both  females,  and  both  contained  in  one  secon- 
dine,  the  navel-strings  were  thick  and  larg,  about  a  span  distance  the 
one  from  the  other,  and  the  substance  of  the  uterine  cake  was  not  fleshy, 
but  thickish  and  quobby,  furry,  soft,  and  full  of  venes,  without  any 
fleshy  substance.     I  never  did  see  the  like  afore. 

Goodwife  Smedly,  being  troubled  with  a  dribling  of  the  reds,  in 
a  larg  quantity,  for  a  long  space,  was  much  weakened,  and  dejected  by 
them ;  but  was  cured  by  mee  by  taking  pil.  pacifica  every  night,  hora 
somni,  when  shee  went  to  bed. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


After  her  recovery  sliee  conceived  of  two  female  twins.  Sliee  told 
raee  that  the  first  was  quickly,  and  easily  born.  But,  for  the  second, 
shee  suffered  much,  through  the  midwife's  enforcements  to  hasten  the 
birlh,  and  was  wearied  out  with  pain,  and  distracted  with  it,  and  her 
life  was  much  endangered  before  shee  was  delivered  of  the  second  child ; 
but  shee  recovered,  and  both  her  children  lived. 

A  difficult  birth 

1.  Is  called  that,  which  continueth  long,  as  severall  dayes,  and 
hath  greater  pain  then  ordinary. 

2.  A  difficult  birth  Avill  afflict  foure  or  five  dayes,  or  longer,  and, 
usually,  the  child  dieth  in  that  time,  and  sometimes  the  mother  with  it. 

3.  But  a  naturall  birth  is  not  of  long  continuance  (if  it  con- 
tinue twenty  foure  houres  it  may  bee  called  a  hard  birth). 

Many  causes  of  a  difficult  birth  bee  alledged,  some  bee  internall, 
others  externall. 

4.  From  the  mother  being  weake,  or  being  very  young,  or 
old,  or  being  too  leane,  or  too  fat,  and  not  able  to  presse  down  her 
belly  for  the  expulsion  of  the  child. 

5.  Or  having  an  ill  conformation  of  the  bones,  or  troubled  with 
diseases,  as  the  colick,  or  stone,  &c. 

6.  Or  bee  disquieted  with  passions. 

7.  Or  if,  in  the  parts  belonging  to  the  womb,  there  bee  tu- 
mours, ulcers,  or  sores,  or  painfull,  swel'd  piles. 

8.  Or  from  the  fetus,  when  it  is  too  great  in 

H  2    " 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

9.  Head,  or  body,  or  when  it  is  weake,  or  dead,  or  seldom  mo- 
veth,  or  when  it  offereth  to 

10.  come  forth  with  the  hands,  or  arme,  buttocks,  knees,  or 
feet,  or  in  any  other  evil  posture,  one  hand  and  foot,  both  hands  and 
feet,  or  with  a  distorted  neck,  or  lyeth  oblique  in  the  womb. 

11.  As  also  when  the  membranes,  containing  the  child,  bee 
suddenly  broken,  and  so  the  child  bee  left  in  a  dry  womb. 

Mercatus  saith,  That  it  is  a  signe  of  a  hard  delivery,  when  the 
waters  flow,  some  dayes  before  the  birth,  very  copiously.  For  the 
waters  being  spent  before  the  time,  the  infant  cannot  slide  forth  by 
reason  of  the  drines  of  the  womb. 

12.  Sennertus  saith.  That  it  is  a  signe  of  a  hard  delivery,  when 
that  the  laboring  woman's  paines  bee  faint,  and  that  there  is  long  in- 
termitting time  between  the  comming  of  them,  and  that  the  paines  run 
more  to  the  back,  then  to  the  birth  place. 

13.  Or/ when  the  membranes  bee  too  strong,  or  thick,  that  they 
cannot  bee  broken  with  the  child's  enforcements. 

In  respect  of  the  womb,  the  birth  may  bee  difficult,  if  it  bee  too 
narrow  in  the  passage,  if  ill  conformed  or  distorted,  or  obstructed  with 
swellings,  ulcerated,  or  any  way  ill  affected,  or  troubled  with  the  stone 
in  the  neck  of  the  bladder,  or  with  excrements  in  the  great  gut,  or  too 
much  water  filling,  and  extending  the  bladder,  or  the  hemorrhoids.  Or, 
if  the  os  coccygis  bee  too  firme,  and  will  not  yield  a  passage  for  the  de- 
parture of  the  infant. 

The  ill  placing  of  a  woman  in  time  of  her  delivery. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


If  all  things  proceed  right  in  the  birth,  and  the  infant  is  not  borne, 
it  is  to  be  feared  that  the  infant's  head  is  too  great,  or  that  some  mole,  or 
tumour  is  joined  to  the  infant. 

If  the  passage  through  the  bones  bee  too  narrow,  or  strait,  if 
anointing  with  convenient  oiles,  or  ointments,  shall  profit  nothing,  the 
infant  perisheth,  and  it  must  bee  drawn  away  by  the  Chirurgion's  hand, 
otherwise  the  mother  will  perish  with  the  child. 

Si  secundina  exeat,  manente  foetu,  lethale.     304,  Primrose. 

14.  Or  from  externall  causes,  when  the  aire  is  too  hot,  or  cold, 
or  too  much  heat,  or  cold,  in  the  chamber  may  hinder  the  birth,  or  too 
much  feeding  on  grosse,  or  astringent  meats,  nigh  the  time  of  birth. 

15.  Also,  the  too  forward  hastines  of  the  midwife  may  cause  a 
difficult  delivery,  immoderate  evacuations,  or  if,  by  the  labour,  vomiting, 
epilepsy,  or  convulsions,  or  fluxes  of  blood  do  happen. 

16.  Too  much  sleepines  and  stupidity  retard  the  birth,  and 
shew  nature  to  bee  weake. 

17.  The  bladder,  full  of  water,  and  the  intestinum  rectum, 
stuffed  with  excrements,  will  cause  difficult  labour. 

18.  When  the  child  is  dead  in  the  womb,  swoonings,  and  con- 
vulsions, and  sleepines  usually  follow,  and  these  accidents  bee  oft  the 
forerunners  of  death. 

19.  Those  that  fall  into  travaile  before  the  full  and  fixed  time, 
are  very  difficult  to  deliver,  because  the  fruit  is  yet  unripe. 

A  weake  infant  is  known  by  the  mother's  long  sicknes,  or  that 
shee  hath  had  a  loosnes,  or  if  that  shee  hath  been  troubled  with  a  flux 
of  blood,  or  that   her  milk  hath  run  much  out  of  her  breasts. 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

in  dif- 

Sneezing  is  good,  and  much  advanceth  the  woman's  delivery,  it 
also  driveth  forth  the  after-birth. 

Let  all  cruelties,  as  cutting  of  children  in  pieces  in  the  mother's 
womb,  with  all  violent  wayes  in  every  difficult  labour,  bee  forborn.  For 
it  retardeth  the  births,  and,  oft  lacerating  the  body  of  the  woman, 
maketh  her  paines  intolerable,  which  renders  her  so  weake,  and  hearties, 
that  shee  hath  no  strength  left  to  endure  her  throws,  and  the  child's  en- 
forcements. Whosoever  useth  such  harshnes,  may  well  be  branded  with 
cruelty,  and  ignorance  in  midwifery. 

A  London  midwife,  very  officious,  endeavouring  to  have  a  speedy 
delivery,  through  haling,  and  stretching  those  tender  parts,  made  a  la- 
bour of  long  continuance,  and,  with  her  halings,  a  breach  about  an  inch 
long  into  the  fundament.  With  this  affliction  the  woman  was  much 
disquieted.  Eor  ever  afterward  her  excrements  came  forth  by  the  birth 
place ;  yet  this  woman  did  much  commend  her  laborious  midwife,  and 
said  that  shee  took  great  paines  to  deliver  her,  to  save  her  life. 

This  fact  was  done  in  Fleet-street.  The  woman  came  to  mee  for 
help,  and  shewed  me  her  torn  body. 

Where  this  grief  can,  without  trouble  bee  suffered,  it  will  bee  much 
better  not  to  meddle  Avith  it,  then  to  endeavour  to  cure  it.  For  it  will 
cause  the  next  labour  to  bee  more  dolorous,  and  difficult,  by  making  a 
new  laceration,  or  incision. 

But,  not  being  cured,  the  ensuing  births  will  bee  more  easy,  by 
reason  of  the  spaciousnes  of  the  breach,  the  vulva  and  intestinum  rec- 
tum being  laid  together,  and  making  but  one  passage. 

Zacutus  Lusitanus  reporteth,  That  a  certain  midwdfe  carried  a  long 

PercivaM  Willughby,  Gentleman, 


knife  secretly  in  her  sleeve,,  with  which  shee  cut  the  womb,  or  funda- 
ment, whilest  that  the  woman  was  in  great  paine.  fflouding  followed 
her  wicked  practice,  and,  if  any  recovered  after  her  cruelty,  they  lived 
miserably  all  the  rest  of  their  dayes,  ever  having  their  excrements 
comming  per  vulvam.  Tor  these  her  evil  deeds  shee  was  banished  by 
the  Magistrates.     De  praxi  medic,  admirand.,  lib.  3.  obs.  141. 

A  good  woman  dwelling  at  Brincliffe,  nigh  Sheffield,  through  a 
difficult  labour,  fell  into  the  hands  of  an  ignorant  woman.  Shee  cut 
the  child  into  severall  pieces  in  her  body.  By  this  midwife's  knife,  and 
the  child's  bones,  the  woman's  body  was  hurt  in  the  extraction  of  the 
severall  parts  of  the  child's  body.  And,  through  the  raising  of  the 
neck  of  the  womb,  it  became  ulcerated. 

Some  severall  yeares  after  I  was  sent  for,  and,  after  mee,  severall 
others.  By  our  applications  her  paines  were  mitigated,  but  none  of  us 
could  cure  her.  At  last,  of  this  affliction  shee  died,  ulcerated  in  her 

A  good  Gentlewoman,  big  with  child,  desirous  of  my  acquaint- 
ance, and  to  have  my  counsell,  came  of  purpose  to  mee  to  Darby,  and, 
after  some  conference,  returned  to  her  house  in  Staffordshire. 

At  the  time  of  her  travaile,  the  child  proffer'd  an  arme.  This 
unnaturall  birth  dismai'd  the  mother,  and  troubled  the  midwife.  My 
company  and  assistance  were  wished  for.  And  man  and  horse  were 
provided  to  have  fetched  mee.  But  this  resolution  was  unfortunately 
altered,  and  shee  was  perswaded  to  put  herself  under  the  hands  of  a 
wicked  woman,  that  took  upon  her  to  free  her  of  the  child. 

This  woman  first  cut  off  the  child's  arme.  Afterward,  shee  divi- 
ded the  child  into  severall  parts,  to  pull  it  forth  by  pieces.     Her  knife, 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

in  doing  this  work,  was  broken  with  many  great  notches,  as  shee 
hackled  in  her  body.  All  which  a  Gentlewoman  told  mee,  that  was 
there  present. 

This  Gentlewoman  died  in  few  dayes  after  shee  had  suffered  her 
barbarous  tortures.  I  comming  afterward  among  her  sad  friends,  la- 
menting her  death,  they  shewed  me  this  knife,  full  of  great  notches. 
And  all  of  them  reviled  this  ignorant  woman,  and  too  late  distasted  her 
evil  doings. 

Mercatus  saith,  That  all  children  bee  born  by  the  head  or  feet, 
although  they  may  lie  in  the  womb  oblique,  contorted,  or  depraved  with 
various  postures.  I  have  known  some  children  comming  by  the  but- 
tocks, and  so  borne. 

That  is  supposed  to  bee  a  natural!  and  easy  birth  by  all  mid- 
wives,  when  the  infant  commeth  forth  with  his  head  forward,  presently 
following  the  flux  of  waters. 

But  when  it  commeth  by  the  arme,  back,  or  belly,  buttocks,  side, 
knees,  or  feet,  these  births  they  call  unnaturall,and  they  have  need  of 

Let  midwives,  therefore,  bee  perswaded,  That,  as  oft  as  they 
perceive  the  child  to  bee  comming  forth  in  an  evil  posture,  either  with 
his  belly,  or  back,  forward,  or,  as  it  were,  doubled,  in  a  crooked  posture, 
or  with  Ms  hands  and  feet  together,  or  with  Ins  head  forward,  and  one 
of  Ins  hands  stretched  over  his  head,  or  with  the  buttocks,  that  they 
ought  to  turn  the  birth,  and  to  draw  it  out  by  the  feet. 

In  all  these  births,  when  too  great  straitnes  of  the  narrow  passages 
has  not  hindered  my  endeavours,  and  where  the  bones,  through  the 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


rickets,  or  unnatural  weaknes,  have  not  been  of  an  ill  conformation,  I 
have  onely  used  my  hand,  and  have  happily  delivered  the  women  by  the 
child's  feet,  without  the  use  of  any  kind  of  instrument  whatsoever,  and 
I  had  rather  so  do  it,  then  to  make  use  of  the  crochet. 

In  all  difficult  births,  I  shall  endeavour  to  set  forth,  with  God's 
permission,  my  wayes,  in  as  plain  directions,  and  familiar,  easy  words,  as 
possible  I  can  find  forth,  being  desirous  to  help  Avomen  in  their  afflic- 
tions, and  to  save  their  children's  lives. 

Let,  therefore,  the  midwife,  in  every  difficult  birth,  bee  well  as- 
sured whether  the  child  be  alive,  or  dead. 

Let  her  not  bee  too  hasty  to  send  for  a  young  chirurgion,  to 
extract  the  infant,  and  let  her  never  put  him  forward  to  bee  busy  in 
such  works ;  least,  unadvisedly,  hee  destroy  a  living  infant,  through  her 
perswasions,  which  may,  in  time,  terrifie  both  midwife  and  chirurgion, 
as  also  others. 

Whether  the  child  bee  alive,  or  dead,  the  mother  may  give  some 
probable  conjecture  in  what  condition  her  child  is,  by  the  stirring,  or 
not  moving  of  it.  Also  the  midwife  may  have  some  foreknowledg. 
For,  if  that  shee  perceive  any  pulsation  in  the  navel-string,  or  in  the 
arteries  of  the  head,  or  temples,  or  in  the  arteries  of  the  wrists  of  the 
hands,  or  feet,  or  that  it  suck  the  finger.  For  any  of  these  signes  shew 
the  child  to  bee  living. 

And,  as  long  as  the  child  is  living,  to  have  a  tender  conscience, 
not  to  destroy  life,  although  it  come  in  no  good  posture,  but  rather 
endeavour  how  to  amend  the  birth  by  their  own  practice,  or  by  the  help 
of  others. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

When  the  head  commeth  first,  and  is  nmch  entered  into  the  pas- 
sages, or  into  the  bones,  then  to  keep  the  travailing  woman  quiet,  in  a 
warme  temperature,  not  too  hot,  or  cold,  in,  or  on  her  bed,  made  as 
formerly  directed,  will  much  conduce  to  her  more  easy  delivery ;  anoint- 
ing the  birth  place,  sometimes,  with  Balsamum  Hystericum,  or  such 
like,  and  putting  some  of  it  into  the  woman's  body. 

Sometimes  the  externall  parts  of  the  woman's  body  may  bee  so 
narrow,  that  the  child  will  happen  to  stay  after  the  head  is  past  the 
bones,  and  can  come  no  farther  forth,  but  resteth  there,  pressing  forth 
the  body,  and  fundament  into  a  larg  tumour. 

In  this  case,  put  the  woman  to  her  knees,  and  anoint  the  body 
very  well,  both  inwardly,  and  outwardly.  Afterward,  toward  the  back 
of  the  woman,  put  up  two  fingers  anointed,  between  the  rump-bone,  and 
the  child's  head,  keeping  your  fingers  steadfast  on  the  head,  with  the 
back  of  your  hand  toward  the  back  of  the  woman ;  then  lift  up  the  back 
of  your  hand  toward  the  rump-bone,  and  it  will  dilate  the  straitnes  of 
her  body,  and  the  lifting  up  of  your  hand,  with  the  holding  your 
fingers  steadfastly  on  the  child's  head,  will  turn  the  circle  of  the  lips  of 
her  body  over  the  childs  head,  and  so  it  will  the  better  slide  forth.  All 
this  while  keep  warme  the  birth-place,  oft  anointing  it  with  balsamum 
hystericum,  or  other  oiles,  and,  if  more  need  require,  you  may  at  this 
time  conveniently  give  a  dose  of  pulvis  parturiens. 

By  these  meanes  I  laid  a  young  woman,  labouring  of  her  first 
child,  in  Darby  Jan :  23.  1667. 

And  after  the  same  way  was  delivered  Mrs.  F.  of  Hopton  1631. 1 
took  the  same  way  with  a  woman  at  Kegworth. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


After  this  way  I  helped  Goodwife  Forman  of  Spoondon,  having 
suffered  much,  and  delivered  her  of  a  living  child  1660. 

To  facilitate  her  labour  I  gave  her  a  decoction  of  germander,, 
penyroyall  and  calamine  boiled  in  posset  drink,  the  which  I  tinctured 
with  saffron  •  and  to  a  draught  I  added  a  spoonfull  of  the  Earle  of 
Chesterfield's  powder,  and  two  spoonfuls  of  oile  of  sweet  almonds. 
This  quickened  her  throws,  and  at  last,  brought  forth  the  child. 

Yide  the  powder  of  eeles  by  Helmont,  Dr.  Willm.  Sermon's  to 
that  purpose. 

But,  in  this  birth,  there  will  bee  some  danger  of  a  breach  into 
the  fundament,  unles  you  bee  very  cautious,  and  it  will  bee  much  ha- 
zard to  prevent  it. 

I  was  called  to  Osliston,  foure  miles  from  Darby,  to  a  young 
woman,  a  stranger  in  that  place,  labouring  of  her  first  child.  The 
child's  head  was  great,  and  it  was  descended  to  the  labia  vulvae,  and  did, 
with  the  head,  largly  extend,  and  presse  forth  all  the  parts  thereabout, 
and  her  body  was  too  strait  to  afford  a  passage  for  the  child's  head. 

I  oft  anointed  those  parts  with  oiles,  and  gave  her  severall  medi- 
cines to  facilitate  the  birth.  Yet,  for  all  my  care  and  endeavours,  the 
child's  head  made  a  breach,  which  did  not  reach  into  her  fundament, 
winch  cured  itself,  and  shee  was  delivered  of  a  living  child. 

But  the  father  of  the  child  was  not  known,  and  the  mother's 
friends  had  not  cared,  if  that  the  child  had  died,  so  that  the  woman 
might  bee  saved ;  and  what  afterward  became  of  the  mother,  and  the 
child,  I  know  not. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

A  dead 

A  diffi- 

I  was  sent  for  Aug :  15,  1667,  to  Church  Broughton,  to  deliver 
Isaac  Saint's  wife.  The  child  was  great,  and  had  much  entered  the 
bones,  and  there  it  did  stick,  and  would  not  bee  removed. 

After  the  anointing  of  her  body,  and  keeping  her  warme  and 
quiet,  I  gave  her  a  dose  of  this  powder  following,  and  within  an  houre 
after  the  taking  of  the  medicine,  thorow  throes  came,  and  shee  was  de- 

The  head  was  more  easily  borne,  then  the  rest  of  the  body.  The 
dead  child  did  stick  at  the  shoulders,  they  were  drawn  forth  by  putting 
my  finger  under  the  child's  arme-pit.  The  child  was  swel'd  in  all  the 
body,  and  in  several!  places  the  skin  was  flayed  off  it,  it  did  stink ;  yet 
the  woman  recovered,  and  hath  had  another  child  since  that  time,  and 
was  then  delivered  by  her  midwife. 

The  powder 

R  Trochis.  Myrrh.  3iiij,  Castorei  3j,  Succin.  Alb.  3ij,  Croci 
Optimi  gr.  X,  Boracis  3J,  M.  fiat  pulvis  cui  adde  01.  Succin.  gut.  hj  ei> 
dividatur  in  tres  partes  eequales.  I  gave  one  paper  full  in  posset-drink, 
tinctured  with  Saffron,  and  sweetened  with  sugar,  and,  with  God's  per- 
mission, a  happy  and  good  delivery  followed  after  the  taking  of  the 
medicine.  , 

Mrs.  Alice  Heath,  a  scholemaster's  wife  in  Staffordshire,  was  by 
mee  delivered  of  a  living  daughter.  Her  waters  had  flowed  some  three 
days  afore,  and  her  labour  was  long  and  painful.  Her  Husband  came 
to  mee  Dec:  24,  in  the  afternoon.     I  went  with  him. 

I  gave  her  the  midwife's  powder,  but  it  did  little  good,  to  which 
I  added,  afterward,  some  borax,  with  some  oile  of  amber,  and  the  balsam 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


of  charity,  the  which  opened  her  body.  At  last,  between  the  child's 
head,  and  her  body,  I  put  my  two  fingers,  and  lifted  up  the  skin  toward 
the  fundament  over  the  child's  head.  Then  it  pleased  God  to  suffer  the 
child's  head  to  slide  into  the  world. 

The  after-birth  was  difficult  to  fetch,  but,  at  last  was  obtained. 
After  her  delivery  shee  lost  some  blood.  That  night  shee  and  her  child 
took  good  rest,  and  shee  slept  well.  The  next  day,  being  Christmas 
day,  I  left  them  both  chearfull  and  well,  in  the  afternoone  1662.  I  so 
returned  to  Darby. 

To  prepare  women's  bodies,  and  to  cause  them  to  have  easier 
labors,  let  mee  commend  unto  them  the  use  of  oiles,  and  mollifying 
clysters,  as  also  sometimes  to  eat  figs. 

Let  mee  commend  to  the  meaner  sort  of  women,  which  have  not 
store  of  meanes  to  supply  their  desires,  good  salad  oile.  But,  to  the 
more  able,  and  richer  sort,  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  newly  drawn.  These 
oiles  will  dilate  the  passages,  and  mitigate,  and  shorten  their  paines  of 
harsh,  and  long,  dry  labour ;  taking  a  spoonfull  or  two  in  broth,  or  pos- 
set-drink, in  the  mornings,  or  at  night,  or  at  both  times. 

So  will  anodyne,  and  mollifying  clysters,  and  to  eat  white  bread 
tosts  well  buttered,  with  good,  new,  sweet,  fresh  butter,  for  a  fortnight, 
or  longer  continuance,  before  the  time  of  travailing  approacheth. 

Mrs.  Isabel  Mumford,  a  woman  dwelling  in  Darby,  about  the 
yeare  1655,  having  her  children  born  with  great  affliction,  intreated  mee 
(if  I  could  possible)  to  direct  her  some  meanes,  whereby  shee  might  bee 
the  more  easily  delivered  in  time  to  come. 

I  willed  her  to  take,  a  moneth  before  the  time  of  her  travaile, 
every  day  good  oile  in  posset-drink.     Shee  made  use  of  my  directions, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


and,  afterward,  shee  assured  mee  that  it  gave  her  much  ease,  with  a 
quicker  and  more  comfortable  speed  in  her  deliveries,  then  usually,  shee 
formerly  had  enjoyed. 

Jan:  the  sixteenth,  1669,  I  went  to  see  her,  not  knowing  that 
shee  was  with  child,  and  seeing  her  very  great,  and  imagining  that  shee 
was  not  far  from  her  account,  I  asked  her  whether  shee  made  use  of  the 
oile.  Shee  told  mee  that  shee  ever  did  make  use  of  it  nigh  the  time  of 
her  labour,  and  that  now  shee  was  in  taking  of  it. 

But  said,  That  shee  could  not  take  it  in  the  morning,  but  took  it 
at  night  in  warm  posset-drink,  for  being  taken  in  the  morning,  it  did 
much  trouble  her  stomach  all  the  day  after ;  that  it  kept  her  body  in- 
different soluble,  and  caused  her  labours  to  bee  more  moist,  and  easy, 
whereas,  before,  it  was  very  dry  and  difficult  and  tedious  unto  her.  A.nd 
few  dayes  after  this  my  visit  shee  was  well  delivered  of  a  living  child  by 
the  midwife. 

But  the  richer  and  more  wealthy  sort,  I  advise  them  to  take  oile 
of  sweet  almonds,  newly  drawn,  to  the  quantity  of  an  ounce,  in  two 
ounces  of  parietary  water,  or  in  white  wine  possets,  or  in  thin  broth. 

And,  every  night,  and  morning,  to  anoint  the  birth-place,  and 
the  rump-bone,  and  the  share-bone  with  balsamum  Hysterimn,  or  oile 
of  lilies,  sitting  before  a  warme  fire,  and  gently  rubbing  it  into  those 
places  with  a  soft  hand. 

Let  the  poorer  sort  use  oile  of  lilies,  capon's,  or  hen's  grease  to 
anoint  with. 

For,  where  the  body  is  much  bound,  there  will  follow  a  hard  and 
difficult  labour,  unless  an  emollient  clyster  bee  administred,  to  free  the 
rectum  intestinum  of  the  excrements. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman 


Gulllimeau,  the  French  King's  chirurgion,  reports,,  That  hee  was 
present  at  the  travaile  of  a  sick,  poor  woman,  that  had  not  been  at 
stoole  in  ten  dayes  before,  whose  great  gut  was  so  fuTd,  and  stuft  with 
excrements,  as  hard  as  a  stone,  that  it  was  impossible  for  her  to  receive 
a  clyster,  and  wee  were  constrained,  before  shee  could  bee  delivered,  to 
get  out  all  the  said  excrements,  otherwise,  it  had  been  impossible  to 
have  taken  forth  the  child. 

In  country  villages,  where  nothing  but  herbs,  milk,  and  eggs, 
with  some  course  sugar,  was,  at  the  most,  to  bee  had,  I  have  made  clys- 
ters of  such  materials,  and  have  used  them  with  good  successe. 

But,  usually,  I  give  such  a  clyster,  if  that  I  am  where  such 
ingredients  may  bee  procured. 

Take  a  pint  of  new  milk,  make  thereof  a  posset  with  good  ale,  in 
a  pint  thereof  boile  chamomil  flowers  half  an  handfull,  of  cumin  seeds 
a  little  spoonfull,  of  anniseeds,  and  sweet  fenel  seeds,  and  of  Unseed,  of 
each  half  a  spoonfull,  Bruise  all  the  seeds  grosly,  boile  these  together 
leasurely,  to  the  consuming  of  the  one  half,  then  strain  it,  and  to  some 
foure,  or  six  ounces  of  this  decoction  put  a  spoonfull  of  hard  sugar,  and 
keep  it  warme. 

Then  take  Venice  turpentine,  washed  with  plantane  water,  six  dra- 
chmes,  put  it  into  a  pewter-dish,  and  adde  to  it  the  yolk  of  an  egge, 
with  a  spoone  stir  them  well  together  over  a  small  heat  of  embers,  and 
they  will  well  mix  by  stirring,  and  come  like  a  milky  cream,  then,  being 
lukewarm,  put  this  mixture  into  a  clyster-bag,  and  adde  to  it  two  spoon- 
fuls of  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  or  of  salad  oile,  and  so  let  this  clyster  bee 
given ;  and  let  the  woman  retain  it  as  long  as  shee  can  conveniently, 
the  longer,  the  better,  as  three,  or  foure  houres,  or,  if  it  may  bee,  all 
night,  and  sleep,  or  endeavour  to  sleep  after  the  taking  of  it. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

At  the  discharg  thereof  the  intestimim  rectum  will  bee  freed,  and 
emptied  of  all  the  excrements,  and  the  uterine  passages  will  bee  suppled, 
and  made  pliable  for  a  more  easy  dilatation  to  the  delivery. 

But  if  the  woman  should  have  a  loose  stoole,  or  two  before  her 
labour,  then  you  need  not  to  trouble  her  with  a  clyster. 

The  thicker,  and  bigger  the  end  of  the  clyster-pipe  is,  the  easier 
it  will  enter,  and  better  passe  into  the  woman's  body  for  the  giving  of 
the  clyster,  and,  through  the  greatnes  of  the  end,  it  will  put  aside  all 
the  wrinkles,  or  folds  of  the  intestinum  rectum.  But  if  the  pipe  will 
not  go  easily  up,  but  is  hindered  with  these  folds,  or  wrinkles  of  the 
gut,  then,  with  your  finger  anointed  with  butter,  or,  with  a  candle,  a 
little  warmed  toward  the  end,  and  conveyed  three  or  foure  inches  into 
the  body,  you  may  make  a  free  passage,  for  the  going  up  of  the  clyster- 
pipe,  and  for  the  better  receiving  of  the  clyster. 

When  the  child  is  much  descended,  and  filleth  the  birth-place, 
you  must  not  put  the  clyster-pipe  directly  forward,  but  put  it  aslope, 
backward,  between  the  vagina  uteri,  and  os  coccygis,  so  you  may,  without 
trouble,  or  losse  of  the  clyster,  deliver,  or  put  it  up.  Otherwise,  the 
child's  head,  filling  Ihe  passage,  will  suffer  no  part  of  the  clyster  to  bee 
conveyed  into  the  fundament.  Or,  instead  of  a  clyster-pipe,  you  may 
make  good  use  of  a  catheter,  as  you  do  the  clyster-pipe. 

I  was  sent  for  by  a  Lady,  and  Kinswoman,  who  thought  that  shee 
was  within  a  fortnight  of  her  account,  but  shee  continued  above  that 
time  seaven  weekes,  shee  used,  a  b'ttle,  the  Balsum  Hystericum  to  anoint 
with,  and  took,  sometimes,  a  spoonfull  of  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  com- 
mended to  her  by  Dr.  Phipps.  But  both  these  shee  used  seldome,  and 
in  small  quantity,  and  so  shee  had  no  good  by  them. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


And,  for  that  shee  was  very  costive  in  her  body,  I  oft  moved  her 
to  take  a  clyster ;  but  shee  would  not  hearken  unto  my  desires,  and  shee 
gave  too  much  belief  to  foolish  women,  that  were  about  her. 

Friday  the  29  of  Nov.  1661  about  foure  in  the  afternoon,  shee 
forced  herself  to  have  a  stoole  in  her  closet.  By  this  great  striving,  so 
soon  as  shee  came  into  her  chamber,  her  waters  did  breake  without  any 
pain,  and  flowed  all  that  night,  and  all  the  next  day  in  abundance,  (the 
which  I  took  for  an  evil  signe)  and  shee  had  no  labour  at  all  with  the 
flowing  of  the  waters,  and  shee  would  sit  up  all  that  friday  night. 

I  perswaded  her,  on  Saturday  at  night,  to  go  to  bed,  and  was 
called  again  to  her  December  the  first  early  in  the  morning.  I  then 
moved  her  to  take  a  clyster,  assuring  her  that  it  would  much  promote 
her  labour,  and  ease  her  paines,  with  hastening  the  birth,  through  open- 
ing, and  dilating  of  all  the  passages,  but  shee  would  not  bee  perswaded 
to  follow  my  desires,  nor  hearken  to  my  motions. 

Her  chamber  was  too  great,  and  too  light,  at  the  iime  of  her 
labour  I  could  not  obtain  the  favour  to  have  it  darkened.  Her  Hus- 
band feared  the  knocking  in  of  nailes  should  spoile  the  windows. 

In  the  afternoon  on  Sunday  shee  had  an  hard  stoole,  but  it  must 
bee  concealed  from  mee. 

Her  labour  being  long,  and  tedious,  I  intreated  her  to  take  the 
Earle  of  Chesterfield's  powder,  to  move  the  birth,  in  posset-drink,  in 
which  was  boiled  calamint  and  penyroyall,  and  afterward  tinctured  with 
saffron.  Some  two  houres  after,  with  much  beseeching,  and  entreaty,  I 
did  get  her  to  take  it  again,  and  I  did  acute  it  with  borax.  Then  shee 
had  some  through  throws,  and  in  her  labour,  the  excrements  of  her 
body  were  forced  out  before  the  child's  head,  as  it  descended.     And, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

before  the  child  was  borne,  great  blasts  of  wind,  of  long  continuance, 
like  farts,  came  from  the  womb,  between  foure  and  five,  that  Sunday  at 

The  child  was  still-born.  The  midwife  made  much  ado  to  revive 
the  child,  but  in  vaine. 

I  caused  her  to  separate  it  from  the  after-burden,  fearing  again 
that  some  evil  accidents  might  happen  by  the  retaining  the  after-burden, 
through  closing  of  her  body. 

This  Lady  suffered  much  through  her  great  averseness  against 
clysters,  otherwise,  shee  might  have  beene  more  easily  delivered,  and, 
in  probability,  might  have  brought  forth  a  living  son. 

The  midwife  was  fearful  to  fetch  the  after-burthen,  so  I  was  put 
upon  the  work  by  her  husband,  the  which  I  quickly  performed.  And, 
for  that  shee  was  apt  to  fioud,  I  gave  her  a  drachm  of  the  prepared  pow- 
der of  white  amber,  rnixt  with  the  yolk  of  a  raw  egge,  in  a  caudle,  .and 
each  particular  succeeded  well,  the  death  of  the  child  onely  excepted. 

In  the  birth  afore  this,  the  midwife  durst  not  fetch  away  the  after- 
burden,  for  that  shee  flouded  as  oft  as  shee  touched  her  body.  It  rot- 
ted away  from  her  in  severall  pieces,  and  had  like  to  have  been  her 
death.  Shee  was  afterward,  long  weak,  and  had  great  white,  painfull 
swel'd  legs  during  her  weaknes. 

Had  shee  taken  a  clyster,  I  verily  beleeve  that  shee  would  have 
had  better,  and  speedier  labour,  and  that  then  the  child's  head  would 
not  have  forced  forth  excrements,  before  the  birth.  So  pain  ensued, 
and  made  her  have  little  or  no  power  to  help  herself  in  her  extremity. 

In  all  my  practice  of  midwifery  I  never,  afore,  or  since,  observed 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


such  blasts,  or  gusts  of  wind  to  come  from  the  womb  of  a  woman  in 

Sennertus  de  partus  naturalis  signis  sic  inquit. 

Alvus  ut  laxa  sit,  non  dura,  det  operam.  lino,  si  partum  jamjam 
instare  animadvertat,  clystere  emolliente  alvum  laxare  utile,  imb  neces- 
sarium  est,  cum,  si  alvo  obstrueta  ad  partus  labores  accedat,  non  pariim 

October  the  eleventh  1668  I  was  sent  for  by  a  right  Hoble  Lady, 
and  desired  by  her  to  bee  in  the  house  all  the  time  of  her  travaile. 

Shee  was  of  a  contrary  opinion  to  the  former  Lady.  Her  usuall 
custome  was,  for  a  week,  or  more,  before  shee  thought  that  her  labour 
would  come  upon  her,  to  take  two  clysters  every  day.  The  first  to  free 
the  body  of  excrements  (if  there  were  any)  and  to  prepare  her  body,  in 
making  way  for  the  better  keeping  of  the  second. 

At  her  full  time  shee  was,  in  short  space,  easily  delivered  of  a  very 
great  child,  without  much  strivings,  pain  or  trouble.  I  did  wonder  to 
see  so  great  a  child  born  with  so  easy  delivery. 

T  left  both  mother  and  child  alive,  and  both  likely  long  to  live, 
some  foure,  or  six  dayes  after  her  delivery. 

I  have  observed  in  all  women,  that  I  have  laid,  and  have  the  same 
affirmed  by  severall  midwives, 

That,  where  the  intestinum  rectum  was  loaded  with  excrements, 
that  there  was  alwayes  a  troublesome  labour,  and  that  the  child's  head, 
as  it  slided,  would  thrust  forth  the  excrements  before  the  child  could  bee 
borne,  and  I  can  speake  it  experimented  in  diverse  women,  having  had 
my  hands  &c 

k~2  : 


Observations  in  Midwifery ',  by 

Therefore  it  is  very  necessary  that  the  intestinum  rectum  bee  freed 
of  all  excrements,  in  all  women,  before  they  fall  into  travaile.  Tor  that 
in  those  passages  a  little  stoppage  will  cause  troublesome  struglings  with 
much  painfull  sufferings. 

As  also  to  empty  the  bladder,  by  making  urine,  so  the  child  will 
have  a  more  spacious,  and  more  easy  egresse  at  the  time  of  birth. 

I  was  called  to  lay  Christopher  Naylor's  wife  of  a  dead  child  in 
Darby.  After  that  I  had  brought  it  a  little  past  the  navel,  suddenly 
abundance  of  warm  moisture  flowed  upon  my  hands,  I  was  somewhat 
dismayed  at  the  feeling  of  it,  for  fear  that  it  should  have  proved  bloud. 
But  when  I  looked  on  my  hands,  I  found  that  it  was  onely  a  great  flow- 
ing of  her  urine,  which  had  been  stopped.  Shee  had  not  made  water 
for  severall  dayes  afore,  and  the  child's  head,  by  pressing  the  neck  of 
the  bladder,  did  cause  the  stoppage  of  her  urine,  and  the  bladder,  being 
greatly  distended  with  her  water,  did  hinder  the  child's  head  from  des- 
cending. And  that  was  the  cause  of  the  difficult  labour,  and,  in  proba- 
bility, of  the  child's  death;  the  stopping  made  by  urine. 

Thomas '  Raynold  Physician  in  his  book  of  the  birth  of  mankind, 
saith,  That  a  labouring  woman,  when  necessity  requireth,  may  take  a 
clyster.  But  it  must  bee  very  gentle,  and  easy,  made  of  the  broth  of  a 
chicken,  or  other  tender  flesh,  putting  thereto  course  sugar,  or  hony, 
with  some  salt,  or  there  may  bee  made  a  decoction  for  a  clyster,  by 
seething  in  water  mallowes,  or  holyoakes,  with  hony,  and  salt. 

But  Pareus,  with  others,  commend  sharp  clysters  to  bee  given  to 
women  in  labour,  to  bring  away  the  excrements,  and  to  provoke  the  ex- 
pulsive faculty,  for  the  more  easy  exclusion,  or  driving  forth  of  the 
infant,  but  hath  not  left  us  a  direction  how  to  make  them. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  find  this  clyster  in  Guillimean  fol.  122.  R  Bismal.  cum  radic. 
Matricar.  Mercnr.  aa  m.  i.  Aristol.  nostrat.  Dictam.  Arthemis.  aa  m.  s. 
flor.  lavend.  p.  s.  sem.  lin.  foenugr.  aa  5s-  fol.  sen.  mnnd.  3vj.  Fiat  om- 
nium decoctio,  de  qua  cape  quart,  tij.  in  quibus  dissolue  Diophseni.  Hier. 
simpl.  aa  3iij.  01.  Eutac.  Cheyrin.  aa  ^ij-  na^  clyster. 

Madam  Louyce  Boarges,  midwife  to  the  Queen  of  France,  was  of 
Pareus  opinion.  Shee  was  called  to  a  woman,  that  was  very  weak,  and 
had  been  in  labour  nine  or  ten  dayes,  and  whatsoever  shee  took,  shee 
instantly  vomited  it  up. 

Shee  perceived  that  nature  was  oppressed,  and  had  not  any  good 
assistance,  and  that  the  infant  was  retired  back  again,  which  stifled  the 
mother,  and  provoked  this  vomiting. 

Whereupon  shee  gave  her  a  good,  strong  clyster,  to  awaken  na- 
ture, and  to  bring  the  infant  lower,  winch  it  did,  according  to  her  hopes. 
Afterward  shee  gave  her  a  small  quantity  of  rhubarb  water,  and,  at  every 
houre's  end,  the  yolk  of  an  egge,  and  these  stayed  with  her. 

By  this  time  nature  began  to  bee  strengthened,  and  the  paines  of 
the  infant  came  again  in  lesse  time,  then  two  houres  after  the  taking  of 
the  clyster,  and  other  nourishment. 

When  shee  saw  her  pretty  well,  and  that  nature  strove  to  expell 
the  infant,  shee  gave  her  half  a  drachm  of  confection  of  Alkermes,  in  a 
little  wine,  and,  a  little  while  after,  another  clyster,  into  which  shee  put 
a  little  Hiera,  and  a  little  Benedicta  laxativa,  which  finished  the  work, 
and  shee  was  then  delivered  of  a  very  lusty  child. 

And  it  was  her  opinion,  That  a  woman,  travailing  in  the  ninth 
moneth,  ought  chiefly  to  bee  succored  with  clysters,  Thus  Madame  Lou- 
yce Bourgious. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  have  known  severall  medicines  used  by  some  with  good  successe, 
which,  in  the  hands  of  others,  have  proved  fatall. 

I  have  nsed  milky,  and  anodyne  clysters,  made  with  aniseeds,  and 
cumin  seeds,  and  fenil  seeds,  yolks  of  egges,  and  Venice  Turpentine 
washed  in  plantane  water,  with  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  or  such  like  oile. 

But  I  durst  not  bee  bold  to  give  sharp  or  strong  clysters  to  wo- 
men nigh  their  account,  or  in  their  labour,  for  feare  that  they  should 
move  too  much  to  stoole,  and  so  cause  a  drawing  of  the  after -purging 
from  the  womb  to  the  bowels,  and  so,  through  too  much  purging,  de- 
stroy the  woman  after  her  delivery. 

Guillimeau  saith  fol.  48  That,  if  the  woman  bee  troubled  with 
pain,  you  may  give  her  a  clyster  as  this 

ft  Pol.  malv.  matrica.  aa  m.  j.  nor.  chamam.  melilot.  et  summi- 
tat.  aneti  aa  m.  s.  sem.  anis.  fenic.  aa  3nj.  bulliant  in  jure  capit.  vervec. 
vel  vituli.  de  quo  accipe  quart,  iij.  In  quibus  dissolue  01.  Anethi,  Cha- 
mamil.  aa  ^ij  sacchar.  rub.  $i.  s.  Butyr.  recent,  ^j-  vitell.  ovor.  duor. 
fiat  clyster. 

Nevertheles  hee  was  of  opinion  (if  it  may  bee  don  possible)  that 
they  should  abstaine  from  clysters,  because  hee  had  seen  women,  some- 
times, through  as  small  a  clyster  as  tins,  fall  into  great  torments,  yea 
even  into  throws,  nature  being  thereto  prepared  and  ready,  winch  turn- 
ed to  the  chirurgion's  disgrace. 

There  was  a  good  woman  in  Darby,  that  had  severall  great  pashes 
of  the  reds,  but  whether  shee  had  suffered  any  false  conception,  or  abor- 
tion, I  knew  not,  with  cordials,  and  pil.  pacifica  shee  was  restored  the 
first  time. 

Shee  afterward  conceived,  and  went  forth  her  full  time,  but  in  her 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


labour  fainted,  and  swooned.  I  was  then  sent  for,  and  found  her  sit- 
ting, whether  in  a  chair,  or  on  a  woman's  lap,  I  do  not  now  remember. 
Shee  was  very  pale,  and  faint,  having  a  dying  countenance,  and  her  mid- 
wife not  attending  her  work,  but  pulling  her  by  the  nose,  to  keep  life  in 

I  willed  the  midwife,  with  the  women,  to  lay  her  on  her  bed. 
With  good  spirits,  and  uterine  cordials  shee  came  again  to  herself,  and 
when,  afterward,  labour  began  to  approach,  I  gave  her  a  dose  of  pul- 
vis  parturiens,  and  put  her  into  her  midwife's  hands,  as  shee  was  lying 
on  the  bed,  and  shee  was  speedily  delivered  of  a  dead  child.  And  thus, 
at  the  second  time,  shee  was  recovered. 

At  her  fainting,  and  swoonings,  I  suppose  the  child  died  in  the 

Afterward,  shee  conceived  again,  and,  nigh  the  time  before  labour 
came  on  her,  shee  desired  an  apothecary  to  make  her  a  clyster  to  move  a 
stoole,  or  two.  J.  W.  hee  made  it.  I  know  not,  but  this  clyster  of  his 
gave  her  many  stooles,  and  brought  much  .weaknes  on  her.  Shee  being 
not  well  that  night,  after  the  clyster  had  done  working,  her  midwife  was 
sent  for;  shee,  and  her  midwife,  supposing  her  paines  to  bee  not  any- 
thing relating  to  her  labour,  the  midwife  went  home,  leaving  her  in  bed 
with  her  husband.  But,  within  a  very  little  space,  the  waters  flowed. 
Her  Husband  made  hast  again  to  fetch  the  midwife.  Before  the  mid- 
wife came,  the  child  was  bom,  through  nature's  force,  without  the  mid- 
wife's assistance,  and  heard  to  cry  lying  in  bed  with  the  mother.  The 
child  lived,  and  the  mother  seemed  to  recover  her  strength.  But  the 
second  day  after  her  delivery,  shee  was  ill,  and  troubled  with  a  loosnes. 
The  fourth  day  I  was  sent  for.  I  found  her  fainting,  and  altered  in  her 
understanding.     I  used  my  best  endeavours  to  help,  and  restore  her  the 

111  suc- 
ces   of  a 

given  to 
a  woman 
bef.  lab. 

A  child 
born  af- 
ter the 
sent  a- 
way,  in 
the  mid- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

third  time.     But  fainting,  with  sensible  fading  every  houre,  increased, 
and  deprived  us  of  a  good  neighbour,  and  that  afternoon  shee  died. 

Her  corps  soon  corrupted,  so  that  they  were  necessitated  to  bury 
her  the  next  day.  And  I  beleeve  that  her  death  began  in  the  womb, 
with  a  mortification,  occasioned  by  the  turning  away  of  the  after -purgings 
of  the  womb  to  the  bowels.  But,  for  her  sake,  I  will  bee  cautious  in  giv- 
ing clysters,  that  shall  bee  strong,  to  provoke  severally  or  many  stooles, 
nigh  the  time  of  labour,  least  that  the  same  disaster  should  happen 
under  my  hands. 

A  Lady,  that  had  a  great  belly,  shee  assured  her  physician,  That 
shee  was  not  with  child,  and  that  it  was  wind,  and  humours,  which 
made  her  body  to  swell,  and  to  bee  so  big.  At  her  request  hee  gave 
her  a  potion.  It  worked  much  on  her  body.  And,  that  night  follow- 
ing, shee  was  delivered  of  a  living  child,  with  little  suffering.  The  phy- 
sick  left  no  farther  motion  of  purging  after  her  delivery,  and  shee  well 
recovered.  But  I  cannot  commend  her  unadvised  doings,  although  no 
evil  accident  followed. 

The  La- 
dy Lee. 

When  the  meanest  of  the  people  were  made  Priests,  in  Jeroboam's 
dayes,  then  Israel  began  to  bee  afflicted.  Afterward  followed  the  des- 
truction, with  the  captivity  of  the  people. 

When  the  meanest  of  the  women,  not  knowing  how,  otherwise,  to 
live,  for  the  getting  of  a  shilling,  or  two,  to  sustain  their  necessities; 
become  ignorant  midwives,  then  travailing  women  suffer  tortures,  by 
their  halings,  and  stretchings  of  their  bodies,  after  which  followeth  the 
ruinating  of  their  healths,  and  sometimes  death. 

Whatsoever  woman  shall  commit  her  body  to  the  practice  of  a 
young  midwife,  that  hath  read  a  little  in  a  midwife's  book,  and  hath 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


there  seen  schemes  of  the  postures  of  severall  births  ( the  which  shee 
doth  not  understand)  and,  perchance,  not  by  her  skil,  but  by  nature's 
force,  hath  laid  a  woman,  or  two,  in  an  easy  and  naturall  birth;  I  shall 
fitly  compare  such  a  woman  to  an  unadvised  passenger,  that  will  hazard 
Iris  safety  with  a  Pilot,  that  never  went  a  sea  voiage,  but,  by  reading  of 
bookes,  or  crossing  the  Thames,  or  some  small  river,  makes  himself  a 
Pilot.  And  I  imagine,  not  any,  if  wise,  will  commit  their  safety  to 
these  midwives  at  land,  or  to  such  Pilots  at  sea,  unles  they  bee  destitute 
wholly  of  all  other  help. 

A  woman  is  not  borne  a  midwife ;  It  is  education,  with  practice, 
that  teacheth  her  experience;  And  midwives  have  need  of  good  memories 
to  help  their  judgments  in  all  their  undertakings. 

The  young  midwives  at  London  bee  trained  seven  yeares  first 
under  the  old  midwives,  before  they  bee  allowed  to  practice  for  them- 

Severall  midwives,  (chiefely  about  London)  use  midwives  stools; 
many  in  the  country  make  use  of  a  bolster,  stuffed  with  hay  or  straw. 
Others,  in  severall  places,  make  use  of  both.  Por  a  woman  to  lie  on 
her  back  on  her  bed,  in  an  unnaturall  birth,  or  to  use  a  midwife's  stoole 
is  not  so  convenient,  as  to  kneele  on  a  bolster,  for  that  the  midwife  can- 
not have  the  command  of  her  hand  to  put  back  the  child,  or  to  turn  the 
birth  comming  in  an  ill  posture,  as  shee  is  placed  on  the  bed  or  stoole, 
for  that  her  work  resteth  above  her  hand,  and  so  it  will  bee  very  trouble- 
some to  put  it  backward,  alwayes  falling  again  on  her  hand. 

But  kneeling  on  a  bolster,  and  her  head  put  downward,  the  child 
will  go  back  from  her  hand,  of  itself,  or  it  will  bee  the  better  helped 
by  the  midwife,  for  putting  it  again  into  the  hollownes  of  the  woman's 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

body,  and  there  to  keep  it,  untill  the  birth  may  bee  fittingly  ordered,  as 
occasion  shall  require. 

The  labouring  woman,  sitting  with  her  body  naked  on  the  mid- 
wife's stoole,  usually  taketh  cold,  which  starveth,  and  straiteneth  the 
body,  and  oft  bringeth  much  griefe,  and  affliction  both  to  the  mother, 
and  the  child,  with  a  long  continued  labour. 

I  rather  commend  an  easy,  low  pallet,  or  a  warme  bed,  and  they 
bee  more  usefull,  when  that  the  child  commeth  naturally,  following  the 

The  placing  of  a  woman  in  a  fitting  posture  doth  much  facilitate 
the  birth. 

A  bolster  is  most  fitting  for  an  ill  posture,  as  also  for  a  difficult 
birth,  where  the  child  hath  need  to  bee  altered,  or  turned,  for  the  la- 
bouring woman  to  kneel  on  in  a  descending  posture. 

A  midwife's  stoole  is  good  for  little,  or,  rather,  for  nothing,  yet 
severall  women  do  highly  commend  them. 

In  case  of  necessity,  midwives,  that  know  how  to  make  use  of  a 
bolster,  and  of  the  bending  postures  belonging  to  it,  shall  bee  freed  of 
severall  inconveniences,  and  incumbrances,  incident  to  delivery. 

When  a  child  is  to  bee  turned,  or  to  bee  extracted  by  the  crochet, 
the  best  way  then  will  bee,  for  the  woman  to  kneele  on  a  bolster. 

Tor  which  observe  this  order.  v 

First  take  the  bolster,  and  shorten  it,  by  shaking  all  the  feathers 
into  one  end,  making  it  indifferent  hard;  Then  roul  the  bolster  in  a 
sheet,  or  blanket,  to  keep  it  firm,  that  the  woman's  knees  sink  not  much 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


into  it.     Or  use  a  sack  stuffed  with  hay,  or  straw,  and  rouled  in  a  blan- 
ket, or  sheet. 

Then  place  an  assisting  woman,  sitting  on  the  pallet,  or  bed,  with 
a  pillow  on  her  lap,  and  her  legs  spread  as  wide,  as  shee  can  convenient- 
ly, and  let  the  bolster  bee  laid,  as  nigh  as  may  bee,  to  her  knees,  and 

Then  bring  the  woman,  and  cause*  her  to  kneele  on  the  bolster, 
spreading  abroad  her  knees.  After  this,  put  her  head  downe,  unto  the 
pillow  lying  in  the  woman's  lap,  that  sitteth  afore  her. 

Then  is  the  woman  fitted  for  turning  of  a  child  from  the  head  to 
the  feet,  or  for  the  altering  of  the  birth,  or  for  the  drawing  of  a  dead 
child  with  the  crochet. 

If  you  have  a  desire  to  turn  the  child,  when  that  it  hath  too  great 
a  head,  or  when  the  bones  bee  evill  framed,  and  hinder  the  comming 
forth  of  the  child,  then,  after  shee  is  placed  kneeling  on  a  bolster  &c 

Slide  up  your  hand  anointed  into  the  woman's  body,  and,  after- 
ward, spread  it  flat  upon  the  child's  head,  and  gently  force  the  child 
back,  toward  the  mouth  of  the  womb,  untill  you  have  roome  enough  to 
search  for  the  feet,  and  having  found  a  foot,  draw  it  leasurely  forth, 
holding  the  foot  in  your  hand  griped  between  your  fingers.  The  in- 
fants body  will  turne  easily  round,  and  so  bee  drawn  forth. 

February  the  fifteenth,  1667,  I  was  called  to  one  Anne  Harison, 
at  Horsley  woodliouses.  I  found  the  woman's  spirits  decayed,  and  shee 
as  good  as  dying.  The  midwife  told  mee,  That  the  child  was  dead,  and 
I  beleeved  her,  after  that  I  had  seen  the  child's  arme,  which  was  much 
swel'd,  and  mortified,  and  pulled  forth,  and  fixed  in  the  birth  by  the 
midwife's  enforcements. 

l  2 









Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 






the  bones 

in  a  na- 



After  my  way  prescribed,  not  reducing  the  arme,  I  brought  downe 
a  foot,  and  I  drew  gently  by  that  foot,  untill  I  had  obtained  both  feet. 
But  the  arme  of  the  child,  at  the  shoulder,  was  so  used,  and  fixed  in  the 
neck  of  the  womb  by  the  midwife's  pullings,  that  the  child's  arme  would 
not  move  to  go  up,  or  the  child's  back  bee  brought  to  turn  round,  untill 
I  took  the  child's  arme  into  my  hand,  and,  by  the  elbow,  had  forced  it  a 
little  upward  into  the  woman's  body.  After  this,  the  body  of  the  child 
turned  easily  round,  and  the  arme  went  up,  of  it  self,  without  forcing, 
and,  after  my  usuall  way,  shee  was  soon  delivered.  The  after-birth, 
without  any  strugling,  or  laceration,  was  soon  fetched  away. 

In  this  woman,  after  that  I  had  put  up  my  hand  into  her  body,  I 
found  that  I  slid  it  on  the  backbone  of  the  child,  I  did  not  take  it  out 
of  the  woman's  body,  but  I  turned  my  hand  round,  and,  with  ease,  I 
came  quickly  to  the  child's  belly,  where  I  found  the  feet.  Without  any 
torture  shee  was  soon,  and  easily  delivered.  I  observed,  That  shee  had 
os  coccygis  very  broad  at  the  end  of  it,  and  thick,  and  inverted,  nothing 
moveable.  Through  the  ill  position  of  her  body,  as  well  as  through  the 
ignorance  of  her  midwife,  and  her  unhandsome  usage  accompanying  the 
unnaturall  birth,  her  death  was  hastened  by  the  midwife's  enforcements. 
Shee  lived  but  a  small  time  after  her  delivery,  about  an  houre  or  two, 
and  so  departed. 

Vide  Mrs  Stone  of  Eudgly. 

When  the  child  hath  much  entered  into  the  bones,  it  will  bee  a 
difficult  matter  to  thrust  him  back,  to  turne  him  to  the  feet,  chiefly, 
after  that  the  woman  is  become  weake,  through  the  midwife's  strivings. 

But  if  the  child  bee  not  entered  much  through  the  bones,  and  bee 
alive,  having  a  great  head,  or  pitched  in  the  woman's  flank    (as  mid- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


wives  will  have  it)  or  with  his  head  bending  to  the  back,  or  breast,  and 
that,  through  these  difficultnesses,  the  woman  is  endangered,  and  the 
midwife  knoweth  not  how  to  deliver  her;  Here  I  hold  the  best  way  to 
preserve  the  mother,  and  the  child,  will  bee  to  turn  away  the  head,  and 
to  produce  him  by  the  feet,  which  is  the  last,  and  onely  refuge  to  help 
both,  and  to  preserve  the  child  with  the  mother. 

About  the  yeare  1654  I  travailed  with  my  guide,  about  the  mid- 
dle of  summer,  all  the  fore-part  of  the  night,  and  was  brought  to  Brom- 
Idgham  in  Staffordshire,  to  a  woman  in  labour,  and  her  midwife  could 
not  deliver  her,  though  the  child  came  in  a  naturall  birth. 

I  found  the  child  alive,  I  speedily  altered  the  posture  of  the  birth, 
as  shee  kneeled  on  a  bolster,  I  turned  back  the  head,  and  I  brought 
downe  the  feet.  By  them  I  soone  delivered  her  of  a  living  sonne;  and 
the  mother  and  child  lived.     I  saw  them  both  afterward  in  May  1656. 

In  the  yeare  1650  I  was  desired  by  a  worthy  Gentleman  to  visit 
his  wife.     I  found  her  a  whimsicall,  conceited  woman. 

Shee  sent  mee  word,  That  shee  had  been  foure  dayes  in  labour. 
When  I  came  to  her,  shee  was  sitting  in  a  chair  in  her  chamber.  After 
some  conference  with  her,  I  assured  her,  That  shee  was  not  in  labour, 
and  that,  at  the  least,  shee  would  go  two  dayes  more. 

For  the  present,  upon  my  words,  shee  was  quieted.  But,  at  the 
end  of  these  two  dayes,  shee  was  passionated,  and  would  force  her  body, 
without  just  cause,  by  violent  strainings,  to  bee  delivered.  And  all 
this  work  was  occasioned  by  her  schrimshaw  midwife,  a  woman,  that 
thought  that  shee  knew  all  things,  and  understood  very  little  in  her  cal- 


land  the 


by  the 
head  in 
a  self 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Before  my  comming,  this  midwife  had  forced  up  her  hand  into  her 
body,  and  shee  assured  this  passionated  woman,  that  shee  felt  the  child, 
and  that  shee  must  forthwith  bee  delivered  of  it,  to  save  her  life. 

I  had  much  ado  with  this  woman.  I  could  not  quiet  her  resolu- 
tions, shee  would,  perforce,  make  throws,  and  violently  thrust  them 
downe  by  holding  her  breath,  and  forcing  her  belly  downward,  Thus, 
through  much  straining,  the  womb  was  forced  open,  and  part  of  the 
chorion  descended. 

I  told  her,  That  shee  much  wronged  herself  by  her  violent  en- 
forcements, and  that,  as  yet,  shee  had  not  any  signe  of  true  labour  on 
her,  and  that  such  ill  doings  might  bee  her  mine. 

But  shee,  with  her  midwife,  would  have  their  wills,  and  would 
have  my  requests  to  bee  overpowered.  I  intreated  the  midwife  not  to 
bee  too  hasty,  and  not  to  break  the  membranes  containing  the  waters, 
and  assured  her,  That,  when  shee  forced  not  her  body,  that  the  mem- 
brane's, containing  the  waters,  was  not  to  bee  felt,  and  that  shee  might 
perceive  it  return  up  again  into  her  body,  so  soon  as  her  strivings  ceas- 
ed; and,  for  the  present,  shee  had  no  true  labour  on  her  body. 

But,  between  the  woman's  enforcements,  and  the  midwife's  igno- 
rance, the  waters  issued.  Then  shee  made  great  ado,  and  cried  out, 
That  shee  should  bee  ruinated,  and  die,  if  that  forthwith  I  would  not  de- 
liver her.  I  intreated  her  patience,  assuring  her,  That  it  would  bee  much 
for  her  good,  and  easement,  if  that  shee  would  bee  pleased  to  take  some 
rest,  for  a  little  while,  before  her  delivery,  to  revive  her  spirits,  and  to 
renew  her  strength.  But  my  intreaties,  and  perswasions  made  her 
much  more  impatient,  and  shee  made  great  ado  to  bee  delivered. 

I  was  then  necessitated  to  tell  her,  That,  as  shee  was  laid  upon 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


her  bed,  that  I  could  not  come  nigh  to  her  body,  and,  as  shee  was  plac- 
ed, lying  on  her  back,  that  it  was  impossible  to  deliver  her. 

Shee  would  then  get  up,  and  put  her  self  to  her  knees. 

After  my  usuall  way,  in  the  turning  of  the  birth  from  head  to 
feet,  with  some  trouble,  shee  was  delivered.  Shee  fainted,  and  was  ill 
afterward.  But  God  was  merciful  unto  her,  in  that  hee  did  not  reward 
her  according  to  her  rash,  passionated  follies,  and  shee  recovered. 

Alice  Smith  of  Darby,  dwelling  at  Nun-Green,  was  disquieted  by 
her  ignorant,  perverse  midwife,  for  the  space  of  ten  dayes.  After  which 
time,  being  ill,  and  fainting,  her  neighbours  laid  her  on  her  bed,  sup- 
posing her  to  bee  dying,  whilst  that  some  others  of  them  came  to  my 
house  for  mee. 

But  I  was  abroad,  yet  I  went  unto  her  so  soon  as  I  came  home, 
about  eight  a  clock  that  night. 

Shee  desired  to  bee  quiet,  and  hoped,  That  shee  should  sleep. 
So  I  returned  to  my  house. 

In  the  morning,  afore  eight,  I  was  sent  for.  The  women  thought 
that  shee  had  flouded.  Some  small  issue  of  blood  there  had  been,  but, 
before  my  comming,  it  was  staid.  - 

After  this,  shee  complained  of  a  fumes  at  her  stomach.  Her 
body  was  sweFd,  so  that  shee  could  hardly  breath.  Her  belly  was  also 
sweFd,  and  hard.  The  right  side  of  her  face  was  puft  up,  and  her  eye 
as  good  as  closed  with  swellings. 

The  inhabitants  of  our  towne,  being  foule  mouthed,  and  apt  to 
censuring,  and  the  miclwives  of  no  good  disposition,  ever  thrusting  their 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

ignorant  carriages  upon  others,  made  mee  unwilling  to  use  the  crochet, 
although,  in  my  thoughts,  the  child  was  departed,  and  did  somewhat 


The  head  came  first,  but  I  put  it  back,  as  shee  kneeled.  Being 
placed  behind  her,  I  delivered  her  by  the  child's  feet.  The  after-birth 
did  stick  to  the  womb,  but  I  separated  it  from  the  sides,  and  brought  it 
whole  away,  shee  felt  little  pain  in  her  delivery,  and  had  a  few  after-pur  - 
gings.     Her  face,  and  stomach  swel'd  more  and  more. 

Being  laid  in  bed,  I  gave  her  two  spoonfuls  of  oile  of  charity, 
which  did  much  revive,  and  comfort  her. 

Shee  complained  of  the  coldnes  of  her  feet,  there  were  laid  warme 
bricks,  wrapt  in  cloths,  unto  them. 

Yet,  for  all  our  helps,  about  some  five,  or  six  houres  after,  shee 
quietly  departed,  and  her  face  presently  corrupted. 

The  child  might  have  been  well  drawn  with  the  crochet,  but  that 
operation  would  not  have  prolonged  her  life.  Shee  was  ancient,  and 
the  os  coccygis  broad  pointed,  and  turned  inward.  Had  it  pleased  God 
to  have  given  her  a  longer  time,  it  would  have  been  ten  to  one,  but  that, 
at  some  time  or  other,  by  bearing  of  children,  shee  might  have  perished 
in  this  bed,  through  the  ill  conformation  of  her  bones. 




of  the 

Per  email  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


And,  to  prove  the  truth  of  this  last  report,  severall  following  re- 
ports will  make  manifest  what  hath  been  said. 

Margery,  the  wife  of  William  Barker,  a  painter  in  Darby,  being 
severall  dayes  in  labour,  and,  at  the  last,  by  her  midwives  left  comfortles, 
without  any  hopes  of  delivery:  By  her,  and  her  friends  desires,  my  help, 
and  assistance  were  requested. 

I  found  a  narrow  passage,  and  the  child  had  not  at  all  descended, 
being  hindered  by  the  broad  end  of  os  coccygis,  inverted,  and  not  flexi- 
ble, and  the  child  too  larg  for  so  strait  a  passage,  and  the  birth 
comming  by  the  head. 

Whereupon,  I  turned  the  birth  from  the  head,  unto  the  feet,  and 
thus  I  quickly  laid  her  of  a  dead  child,  and  shee  soon  recovered  Novem- 
ber the  fift  1666. 

Shee  conceived  again.  In  her  travaile,  shee  suffered  much  ex- 
tremity; winch  moved  the  woman,  with  her  midwife,  and  her  friends, 
to  send  to  my  house,  and  to  desire  my  help  again.  But  I  was  out  of  the 
Town,  some  fourteen  miles  from  Darby.  They  thought  it  a  long  way  to 
send,  and  nobody  came  to  mee  for  her,  but  deferred  time,  in  hopes  of 
my  comming  home;  though  they  all  knew,  that  shee  greatly  desired  my 
help,  and  that  I  would  have  come,  for  that  I  had  promised-  her  my 
assistance,  if  need  required. 

After  six  days  suffering  shee  died  July  twenty  five  die  Ois.  1669 
in  my  absence. 

After  my  returning  to  my  house,  the  midwife  told  mee,  That  the 
child  never  descended,  or  came  within  the  bones,  and  that  her  body 
being  narrow,  shee  knew  not  how  to  deliver  her;  and  that  it  was  past 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

her  understanding;  and  these  things  I  knew  well  enough;  that  the  bones 
would  not  permit,  but  hinder  the  passage,  and,  by  this  report,  the  pre- 
cedent is  confirmed,  and  my  words  made  true. 


August  the  fourth  1668  Mrs  Mary  Harley  of  Walton  in  the- 
wolds,  being  in  labour,  and  having  suffered  three  or  foure  dayes  much 
affliction;  her  husband,  with  her  desire,  caused  mee  to  bee  sent  for. 
The  child  came  right,  with  the  head  pitched  toward  the  bones.  Shee 
had,  severall  times,  strong  forcing  throwes,  but  they  nothing  availed. 
To  move  more  strongly  the  expulsive  faculty,  I  gave  her  severall  doses 
of  the  midwife's  powder,  acuted  with  a  larg  quantity  of  Borax.  But 
they  nothing  helped  our  desires,  which  made  mee  to  suppose,  That  the 
child's  head  and  body  were  too  great  for  the  passage.  Shee  was  ancient, 
and  I  was  greatly  desirous  to  save  the  mother,  with  the  child. 

Therefore  I  thought  it  good  to  put  back  the  child's  head,  and  to 
deliver  her  by  the  child's  feet,  the  which  I  did  about  twelve  a  clock  that 
night.  And  each  particular  seemed  to  answer  our  proceedings  with 
good  successe,  for  the  present  time.  All  of  us  thought  the  cliild  had 
been  dead.  But,  holding  the  feet  toward  the  fire,  and  with  laying  the 
after -birth  on  hot  coales,  and  stroaking  the  navel-string  toward  the 
belly,  the  child  revived,  and  was  baptized  the  sunday  after,  and  was 
named  Mary. 

The  child's  tender  feet  were  blistered  through  the  heat  of  the  fire, 
and  carelesnes  of  the  women. 

As  for  the  good  woman.  Shee  was  very  well  for  the  space  of  an 
houre,  after  her  delivery,  and,  for  her  preservation,  shee  gave  God 
thanks,  and  for  my  care  of  her  shee  also  thanked  mee. 

After  this  time  shee  fainted,  and  I  was  ignorant  of  the  cause, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


whether  it  might  bee  through  some  clottering  of  blood  in  the  womb,  or 
through  the  losse  of  blood,  wee  thought  that  shee  would  have  presently 
died;  for  that  shee  had  no  pulse,  little,  or  no  breathing  to  bee  perceived, 
her  face  altered  with  blackening,  and  shee  was  quite  deprived  of  her 


Bat,  through  God's  permission,  •  with  cordiall  spirits,  shee  was 
again  restored,  and  shee  recovered  her  breathing,  and  the  use  of  her 
senses,  and  took  good  rest  all  that  night  following. 

Shee  was  subject  to  a  scouring,  the  which  I  disliked.  I  gave  her 
severall  medicines  to  prevent  it.  But,  above  all,  shee  praised,  and  best 
liked  the  boiled  milk  with  pepper.  At  her  friends  desire  I  stayed  with 
her  ten  dayes.  I  would  willingly  have  stayed  longer,  for  that  I  feared 
her  weaknes.  But,  perceiving  that  they  were  willing  to  let  mee  go,  I 
took  leave,  and  departed,  after  that  I  had  left  them  some  directions. 

It  was  reported  that  shee  was  afflicted  with  convulsions  toward 
the  end  of  the  moneth,  and  so  died.  And  whether  any  loosnes,  or 
what  other  infirmity  might  happen  unto  her,  I  know  not.  Her  friends 
never  more  did  send  unto  mee  to  acquaint  mee  with  her  condition. 

But  the  child  is  lively,  and  thriveth,  and  every  day  getteth 

Had  I  not  drawn  the  child  by  the  feet,  the  mother  would  not 
have  been  delivered.  And,  if  that  I  still  had  deferred  time,  in  hopes  to 
have  had  a  naturall  birth,  this  child,  born  so  weak,  would  have  perished 
in  the  mother's  womb,  and  the  mother  with  it,  and  they  would  not  have 
been  separated. 

I  twice  delivered  one  Goodwife  Katherine  Renshaw  in  Stafford. 

M  % 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

At  the  last  time  blood  clottered,  and  began  to  congeale  in  her  body,  a- 
bout  an  houre  after  her  delivery;  through  which  shee  was  much  pained, 
and  began  to  faint. 

I  dipped  my  finger  into  oile,  and  put  it  up  into  her  body,  and 
there  gently  I  moved  my  finger  three,  or  foure  times,  and  presently  the 
clotters  of  blood  issued  forth  in  abundance  from  the  womb.  Without 
any  more  disquiets  shee  soone  recovered. 



A  diffi- 

birth  by 
the  head. 

Both  these  infants  I  turned  from  the  head  to  the  feet,  to  deliver 
the  woman.  The  first  child  was  still-borne,  the  second  lived  three,  or 
foure  yeares,  and  then  died  of  the  small  pox. 

I  was  sent  for  to  come  to  one  Goodwife  Wilder,  where  I  found 
midwives  tormenting  the  woman.  The  child  came  by  the  head,  and  the 
midwives  hoped,  by  haling,  and  stretching  her  body,  to  deliver  her. 

.  But  when  I  perceived  their  tormenting,  ignorant  wayes,  and  found 
that  the  infant's  head  was  great,  and  would  not  descend,  I  placed  her, 
kneeling,  on  a  bolster,  and  put  her  head  down  to  a  pillow,  placed  in  a 
woman's  lap,  sitting  afore  her.  I  put  back  the  head  into  the  hollownes 
of  the  woman's  body,  and  turned  the  birth  unto  the  feet,  and  thus  I 
quickly  delivered  her  about  June  1646  of  a  dead  child,  and  shee  was 
living,  at  Twyford  in  Darbyshire,  severall  yeares  afterward. 

Mar.  1.  1670  I  was  desired  to  come  to  Tutbury  in  Stafford-shire 
by  Thomas  Key,  to  help  to  deliver  his  wife  Katherine  Key,  with  whom 
three  midwives  had  been,  and  one  of  them,  with  much  strugling,  and 
haling,  had  greatly  tormented  this  distressed  woman. 

This  travailing  woman  assured  mee  afterward.  That,  had  shee  had 
strength,  shee  would  have  kicked  this  midwife  into  the  fire,  for  that 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


shee  did  nothing  else,  but  pull,  and  stretch  her  body  with  all  violence, 
to  enlarg  the  passages,  not  caring,  if  that  shee  had  torn  her  body  to  do 

The  child's  head  was  too  great  to  slide  through  these  narrow  pas- 
sages, and  the  shoulders  larg. 

After  the  child  had  somewhat  entered  the  bones,  some  (if  not  all 
of  them)  took  hold  on  the  skin  of  the  head,  the  which  was  made  raw 
and  red  by  their  pullings,  and  the  cuticula  with  the  haire,  was  flayed 
from  the  skin.  They  also  endeavoured  to  separate  the  sutures  of  the 
head,  and  had,  in  part,  done  it.  The  skin  of  the  head  was  pulled  from 
the  skull,  and  was  swelled  much  bigger  than  a*  man's  fist ;  and  part  of 
the  child's  braines  was  squeezed  through  the  sutures  into  this  tumour. 
So  the  head  was  lessened  through  the  woman's  endeavours  to  bee  laid, 
and  the  midwife's  enforcements.  But  the  skin  was  thick,  and  tough, 
and  did  hold  without  tearing,  or  breaking. 

I  made  a  ligature  upon  this  swel'd  tumour;  and,  with  difficulty,  I 
drew  forth  the  head,  but  it  stuck  at  the  shoulders,  and,  although  I  had 
the  help  of  drawing  by  the  head,  wrapt  in  a  linen  cloth,  yet  it  would 
not  stir  by  my  strength  in  drawing,  untill  I  put  a  fillet  with  a  slip-knot 
about  the  child's  neck,  and  intreated  a  woman  to  help  to  draw  by  it. 
Through  her  assistance,  with  my  endeavours,  the  female  infant  was 
drawn  forth  from  her  body. 

Shee  had  been  five  dayes  in  extremity.  The  infant  was,  in  some 
parts,  flayed,  and  did  somewhat  smell.  Shee  had  a  loosnes  within  three 
dayes  after,  but  it  was  not  violent,  and  it  did  not  disquiet  her  body,  but 
staid  of  it  self,  and  shee  recovered.  I  went  to  see  her  July  the  10 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 



dren . 

TNota,  when  a  child  hath  lieu  long  in  the  body  dead,  the  skin  will 
flay  off,  and  the  body  of  it  will  putrefie,  and  smell. 

I  was  at  Colton  in  Staffordshire,  about  the  yeare  1655,  and  was 
there  desired  to  help  a  poor  woman,  that  had  hen  severall  dayes  in  ex- 
tremity, and  the  birth  was  by  the  head.  But,  finding  her  weak,  and,  in 
probability,  not  likely  to  live  many  houres,  I  entreated  all  the  women  to 
pardon  mee,  and  my  endeavours,  for  that  I  perceived,  that  shee  had  too 
long  suffered,  and  would  not  live.  But  the  woman  in  labour,  with  her 
neighbours,  and  relations,  greatly  desired,  and  intreated  my  help.  Tor 
life  or  death,  shee  resigned  herself  to  God's  will,  and  determination. 

I  put  up  my  hand  anointed  into  her  body,  I  turned  the  birth,  and 
presently  drew  away  the  child  by  the  feet.  It  was  dead,  and  grievously 
smelt,  and  was  flayed  and  sweFd,  being  great  in  body.  In  her  body 
internally  shee  was  very  cold. 

According  to  my  prediction,  within  few  houres  after  her  de- 
livery, and  my  departure,  shee  died.  And  all  the  sweet  herbs,  with 
bran,  and  warm  water,  that  I  washed,  and  rubbed  my  hands  with,  did 
not  remove  from  them  the  stinking  smell  of  this  child's  infected  body 
for  severall  dayes  afterward.     Shee  was  Robert  Middleton's  wife. 

And,  seeing  some  women  bee  in  great  clanger  of  death,  having 
overgrown  children  in  the  womb,  the  passages  being  incapable  of  farther 
dilatation,  which  happeneth,  when  the  child  in  all  his  body  is  too  great 
for  the  passage,  chiefly  in  the  head,  and  shoulders,  and  yet,  in  part,  hath 
entered  the  bones,  and  that  the  child  hath  hen  long  in  the  womb,  dry, 
and  deprived  of  all  humidity,  so  that  there  is  no  hope  left  to  turn  the 
birth  unto  the  feet;  In  this  sad  case  it  is  the  safest  way  to  draw  the 
child  with  the  crochet,  after  that  it  is  dead,  rather  then  to  put  back  the 
head  to  fetch  the  feet. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


The  hand,  in  this  sad  condition,  will  bee  very  grievous  for  the  wo- 
man to  suffer,  oft  producing  evill  accidents.  And  this  operation  will 
prove  difficult  to  bee  performed,  when  that  the  woman  hath  long  suffer- 
ed, and  that  the  body  is  left  dry,  after  that  all  the  humours,  moistening 
the  womb,  have  flowed. 

The  crochet  is  of  most  excellent  use,  to  extract  the  dead  child, 
when  it  is  locked  between  the  os  pubis,  and  coccygis,  and  cannot  bee 
displaced,  or  pushed  upward,  to  turn,  and  so  to  draw  it  forth  by  the 
feet,  without  hurting  the  mother,  or  endangering  her  life,  through 

It  is  also  convenient  to  take  forth  a  child's  head,  that  is  pulled 
off,  and  so  left  in  the  womb. 

It  should  bee  about  10  or  11  inches  long,  of  a  reasonable  circuit 
in  the  head  of  it,  that  it  may  take  hold;  and  not  too  sharp  pointed,  but 
rather  somewhat  bluntish. 

And,  for  feare,  in  your  working,  you  should  not  certainly  know 
where  the  point  of  your  instrument  bendeth,  let  there  bee  a  broad  nick, 
or  notch,  or  some  other  mark  in  the  handle  of  your  instrument;  right 
against  the  point  of  it,  and  it  will  direct  you  where  the  point  resteth, 
and  winch  way  it  turneth.  Without  such  a  mark  you  cannot,  alwayes, 
well  find  the  point  of  your  instrument. 

"I  know  not  a  better  instrument,  than  the  crochet,  to  help  a  wo- 
man in  extremity,  when  shee  is  overwearied,  and  that  her  strength,  with 
all  other  meanes,  doth  faile,  and  the  woman's  body  very  narrow,  or 
strait,  or  swel'd  by  violent  enforcements,  and  the  child  dead. 

But,  if  it  bee  not  used  with  great  care,  and  judgment,  it  may 

Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

My  cou- 
sin   Ham- 




prove  destructive,   by  ill  fixing,  as  well  as  by  tearing,  and  losing  the 
hold,  as  also  by  hasty,  and  rash  drawing,  and  so  wo  and  the  woman. 

A  Gentlewoman,  and  one  nearly  related  to  mee,  was  delivered  by 
a  man  midwife,  whilest  that  I  dwelt  at  London.  Hee  caused  a  sheet  to 
bee  held  over  him,  that  her  body,  and  his  hands  might  bee  covered,  for 
that  nobody  should  see  his  rash  follies,  and  a  bason  to  bee  set  nigh  to 
her  body  afore  him.  His  instrument,  as  hee  worked,  did  overslip  his 
hand,  and  was  heard  to  fall  into  the  bason,  and,  in  probability,  the  wo- 
man's body  was  wounded  by  his  instrument,  through  his  ill  using  of  it. 

If  this  narration  was  truly  related  to  mee,  by  those  women,  that 
were  present  at  her  delivery,  his  work  was  carried  on  with  much  un- 
handsomenes,  and  accompanied  with  great  ignorance. 

Shee  soon  after  rotted  in  the  womb,  from  whence  noisome  vapors, 
and  ill  sented  fluxes  issued;  and  so  this  poor  soul,  within  a  few  dayes 
after,  miserably  finished  her  life. 

I  was  sent  for  to  Colton  about  the  yeare  1654  to  help  a  poor  wo- 
man (Mercy  Haywood)  that  had  hen  long  in  labour.  The  child  was  too 
great  for  the  passage.  I  deferred  the  operation  very  long.  And,  when 
nothing  prevailed  to  awaken  the  throwes,  or  to  drive  forth  the  child, 
(perceiving  at  the  last,  the  child  to  bee  dead)  I  drew  it  with  the  crochet, 
and  brought  it  away  indifferent  easily.  Shee  afterward  recovered  her 
health,  and  strength,  and  I  saw  her  well  in  the  yeare  1667,  as  also  167i 
in  Jan  26. 

At  Brelsford  about  the  yeare  1634  I  layd  a  Gentlewoman,  that 
had  lien  severall  dayes  in  labour.  The  child  came  by  the  head,  and  did 
stink.  I  quickly  drew  it  with  the  crochet.  Shee  soon  recovered  her 
weaknes,  and,  afterward,  had  severall  children. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  was  sent  for  to  Scrapton  in  Darbyshire  by  Mrs  Agard,  Mr  John 
Agard' s  wife,  and  desired  to  come  to  deliver  a  baker's  wife,  that  was 
formerly  her  servant.  I  was  not  willing  to  bee  too  hasty  with  her. 
But,  when  neither  medicines,  or  a  warm  bed,  or  other  wayes  would  not 
prevail  e,  I  used  the  crochet,  and  I  was  not  long  in  delivering  her  of  a 
dead  child.     This  was  done  about  the  yeare  1646. 

There  was  a  poor  woman,  wife  to  an  under-cook,  servant  to  Sr 
Henry  Willughby  at  Risly.  Shee  travailed  of  a  great  child.  The 
birth  came  by  the  head.  My  help  was  desired.  I  put  her  off  a  long 
time,  fearing  the  child  might  bee  alive.  But  it  was  dead.  Shee  began 
to  rave,  and  was  somewhat  distracted,  and  to  discolour  in  her  face.  The 
cliild  was  entered  within  the  bones,  and  could  not  conveniently  bee 
tinned  back.  Therefore  I  was  forced  to  draw  it  with  the  crochet,  and 
shee  recovered.  But,  afterward,  for  the  present,  shee  could  not  hold 
her  water,  untill  a  yeare,  or  more,  had  passed  over,  and  had  strength- 
ened, and  setled  her  weak  body. 

Aug:  Anno  1668  the  twelfth  day,  Jane  Potter,  the  wife  of  Adam 
Potter  of  Dufneld,  having  been  in  labour  for  severall  dayes,  was  de- 
sirous of  my  help.  Her  body  had  been  much  strugled  with  by  severall 
midAvives.  The  child  was  corrupted,  and  did  unsavourilly  smell.  There- 
fore I  would  not  offer  to  disquiet  her  with  more  strivings,  to  turne  the 
child  from  the  head  to  the  feet,  but  drew  it  leasurely  with  the  crochet ; 
and,  in  the  drawing,  moisture  issued  out  of  her  fundament.  I  never 
knew,  or  observed  the  like  in  any  woman  afore.  After  that  shee  was 
delivered,  shee  was  at  ease  for  two  dayes.  Then  a  loosnes  seized  on  her 
body,  and  of  it  shee  died  in  the  week  following. 

When  the  infant  shall  hasten  to  the  birth  with  one  hand  appear- 
ing, the  midwife  shall,  in  no  case,  receive  him,  but  put  back  the  arme 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

speedily,  and  bring  his  head  downward,  to  a  naturall  birth.  And  if,  in 
case  the  midwife  cannot  do  it,  and  is  ignorant  how  to  alter  the  birth  by 
bringing  it  to  the  head,  or  rather  to  the  feet,  then  I  could  wish  they 
would  follow  the  counsell,  to  bring  the  woman  again  to  her  bed,  and 
there  to  place  her  with  her  face  upward,  and  her  head  bending  back- 
ward, her  middle  part  lying  higher  then  the  rest  of  her  body,  which 
being .  done,  the  midwife  shall  bind  down  her  belly  toward  the  midriffe 
in  a  reasonable  manner,  that  so  shee  may  drive,  and  force  the  infant  into 
the  womb,  and  may  minister  occasion,  that  hee  proceed  forth  in  another 

I  wish  the  midwife  to  make  choice  of  a  good  rouler,  somewhat 
broad,  and  to  begin  her  rouling  as  low  as  shee  can  toward  the  botom  of 
her  belly,  drawing  the  labouring  woman's  belly  upward  with  the  rouler, 
somewhat  strait,  toward  her  hips,  or  lower  parts,  but  not  too  hard,  and, 
afterward,  to  roule  more  easily,  by  degrees,  toward  the  navel. 

After  this,  let  the  labouring  woman  move,  and  roule  herself  to, 
and  fro,  in,  or  upon  her  bed,  having  her  head  much  lower  than  her  hips, 
having  her  thighes,  and  belly  higher  then  the  rest  of  her  body,  un- 
till  such  time,  that  the  infant  shall  bee  perceived  to  bee  returned  up 
again,  and  shall  appear  altered  in  an  apt,  or  convenient  forme,  or  way 
for  delivery. 

And  some  assisting  woman  may  do  her  good  service  to  stroke  up- 
ward her  belly  to  help  to  remove  the  child,  and  so  to  reinforce  him 
again  into  the  womb.     But  I  never  have  used  this  way. 

But  when  an  arme  commeth  alone,  do  not  endeavour  to  reduce  it, 
by  putting  it  up,  but  slide  up  your  anointed  hand  into  the  woman's 
body,  over  the  child's  arme,  and  gently  force  up  your  hand.     If  it  bring 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


you  to  the  back,  the  same  will  feele  hard.  Do  not  take  your  hand  forth 
of  the  woman's  body,  but  turn  it  round  toward  the  child's  belly,  where 
you  shall  find  the  child's  feet.  Draw  by  the  feet,  as  directed,  the  arme 
will  reduce  itself,  as  the  body  turneth  round.  Thus  you  may  soone  de- 
liver any  woman  by  the  child's  feet. 

If  that  you  find  that  the  child's  arme  will  not  move  to  reduce 
itself,  and  that  the  child's  body  will  not  easily  bee  turned  round,  then 
conceive  that  the  child's  shoulder  is  locked  in  the  neck  of  the  womb, 
between  the  bones. 

To  help  this  let,  or  hinderance,  take  the  child's  arme,  and,  hold- 
ing it  in  your  hand,  thrust  it  upward  into  her  body,  yet  without  violence, 
and  it  will  remove  this  let,  and  then  the  child,  without  any  farther 
trouble,  will  soone  turne,  and  so  bee  born  by  the  easy  drawing  of  the 

Without  kneeling  on  a  bolster  a  child  cannot  well  bee  turned. 

Thus  all  other  births,  as  belly,  back,  buttocks,  with  the  knees, 
may  bee  reduced  to  the  feet. 

It  will  bee  much  better,  and  more  for  the  midwives  credits,  to 
make  use  of  the  way  of  rouling,  rather  then  to  pull  the  infant  by  the 
arme,  or  to  cut  it  off.  Tor,  so  doing,  the  infant  is  alwayes  destroyed, 
and  very  oft  the  mother  with  it. 

But,  if  the  arme  will  not  remove,  and  return  again,  by  the  wo- 
man's moving,  or  rouling  herself  to  and  fro  on  the  bed,  yet  do  not  offer, 
in  that  posture,  to  deliver  her,  nor  to  draw  the  infant  by  the  arme. 

But  rather  in  a  bending  posture,  descending,  deliver  the  woman 
kneeling  on  a  bolster.     And  the  midwife  being  placed  behind  her,  let 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

her  not  endeavour  to  reduce  the  arme,  but  rather,  by  degrees,  leasurely 
to  slide  up  her  anointed  hand  over  the  child's  arme,  and  gently  to  force 
it  upward.  This  way  will  bring  her  hand  to  the  infant's  feet,  or  to  the 
twist  of  the  legs,  so  shee  may  easily  obtain  a  foot,  the  winch  shee  may 
bring  down,  holding  it  between  her  forefinger,  and  middle  finger,  in  her 
hand  griped,  with  her  thumb  laid  over  her  fingers.  After  that  shee 
hath  brought  it  forth,  let  her  hold  it  in  a  soft  linen  cloth,  or  put  a  fillet, 
with  a  slip  knot,  over  the  heele,  whilest  that  shee  fetcheth  the  other  foot 
(if  easy  to  bee  found)  or,  if  the  woman's  body  bee  not  very  narrow,  let 
her  draw  gently  by  the  foot,  untill  the  child  is  drawn  nigh  to  the  but- 
tocks. Then  shee  may  see  where  the  other  foot  resteth,  which,  without 
any  striving,  with  her  bended  finger,  placed  in  the  hip  of  the  child,  by 
easy  drawing,  shee  may  bring  it  forth. 

Let  the  midwife  joine  the  feet  together,  and,  holding  them  in  a 
soft,  linen  cloth,  let  her  draw  leasurely,  and  the  child's  body  will  turne 
round,  and  the  arme  will  go  up  with  the  shoulder,  reducing  itself,  beyond 
belief,  or  the  expectation  of  many  midwives. 

Afterward,  when  it  is  drawn  to  the  loines,  or  to  the  breast,  ob- 
serve whether  the  child's  face  bee  turned  toward  the  back  of  the  woman. 
If  it  bee  not,  turn  it,  holding  the  body,  between  your  hands,  in  a  soft, 
linen  cloth,  that  the  face  of  the  child  may  bee  toward  the  back  of  the 

The  child  will  turn  easily,  without  any  danger  to  it,  not  at  all 
troubling,  or  hurting  the  woman. 

Then  let  the  midwife  draw  again  gently,  and  leasurely,  untill  it 
come  nigh  unto  the  neck,  then  let  her  slide  up  her  anointed  hand,  be- 
tween os  coccygis   (which  is  the  rump  bone,  so  called  by  midwives)  and 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


and  the  child's  face.  Then  putting  her  middle  finger  a  little  way  into 
the  child's  month,  and  placing  her  other  fingers  over  the  child's  face, 
and  pressing  down  the  child's  chin  into  the  pit  of  the  child's  throat,  and 
and  causing  an  assistent  woman,  at  that  time,  to  lay  a  flat  hand  upon 
the  mother's  belly,  over  against  the  child's  head,  and  some  part  of  the 
hand  above  the  head,  willing  her  to  thrust  off  the  head  gently,  and  by 
degrees,  that  it  rest  not,  to  make  any  stay  on  os  pubis  (which  midwives 
call  the  share-bone)  and,  at  that  instant  of  this  pressure,  let  the  mid- 
wife, or  some  other  body,  gently,  and  leasurely  draw  by  the  hips,  or  feet, 
and  the  child  will  quickly,  and  without  all  danger,  bee  born.  Thus 
doing,  shee  needs  not  to  feare  the  breaking  of  the  child's  neck,  or  the 
endangering  of  the  pulling  off  the  head  from  the  child's  shoulders. 

Therefore  to  reduce  the  arme  is  needles,  and,  besides,  it  causeth 
much  trouble,  and  it  helpeth  nothing  toward  the  delivery.  It  hath  oft 
much  disquieted,  and  afflicted  the  woman  with  great  paines,  and  needles 
tortures,  as  you  may  observe  hereafter  by  severall  births,  that  I  have 
laid.  I  have  known,  through  midwives  violence,  the  armes  of  children 
broken,  whiles!  that  they  endeavoured  to  reduce  them,  and,  with  their 
rashnes,  they  have  destroyed  the  children,  and  greatly  endangered  the 
woman's  life. 

Cleare  Pearson,  the  wife  of  Richard,  dwelling  at  Tenant  bridg  in 
Darby  anno  1650,  or  about  that  time,  tooke  for  her  midwife  Goodwife 
Spencer.  The  child's  arme  came  down.  Shee  could  not  reduce  it,  shee 
having  long  time,  suffered  much  haling,,  and  pulling  by  the  child's  arme, 
and  the  midwife,  not  knowing  how  to  help  her,  by  all  the  women,  at 
the  last,  my  assistance  was  desired. 

I  found  the  arme  swel'd,  discoloured,  and  mortified.  I  placed 
her  kneeling  on  a  hard  bolster,  and  put  her  head  down,  in  a  descending 

Do  what 
you  please 
if  that  you 
find   these 
oft  re- 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

posture,  to  a  pillow,  that  was  laid  on  a  woman's  lap,  sitting  afore  her. 
I  gently  slid  up  my  anointed  hand  into  her  body.  I  quickly  found  the 
child's  foot,  and,  by  the  feet,  I  gently  drew  the  child;  the  body  of  the 
child  turned  round,  the  arme  slided  up  of  itself.  I  kept  the  child's 
face  toward  the  back  of  the  woman.  I  put  my  middle  finger  into  the 
child's  mouth,  and  placed  my  other  ringers  over  the  child's  face,  then  I 
drew  again  leasurely  by  the  feet.  So  the  child  was  soon  born,  and  the 
after-birth  was  quickly  fetched,  and  shee  safely  delivered,  and  laid  in  her 
bed.  And  all  this  was  done  in  lesser  time  then  half  a  quarter  of  an 
houre,  as  severall  women,  yet  living,  can  testifie  this  to  bee  true,  and  so 
performed.     And,  in  a  short  space,  shee  recovered. 

About  a  yeare,  or  two,  after  this  time,  this  woman  had  the  same 
birth  again,  and  had  the  help  of  3  midwives,  and  each  one  of  them  used 
much  violence.  In  her  sufferings,  shee  intreated,  and  desired  them  to 
lay  her  the  same  way,  as  Mr.  Willughby  had  done.  Shee  told  her  mid- 
wives,  that  hee  did  not  hurt  her.  But  they  concluded,  That  it  must  bee 
drawn  by  force  from  her.  Some  held  the  woman,  whilest  that  others 
violently  pulled  the  child  from  her  by  the  arme,  and  thus  shee  was  tor- 
tured by  them  to  bee  delivered.  I  was  sent  for  to  Stafford,  and  came 
to  her  some  foure  houres  after  her  delivery,  and  found  the  woman  much 
spent,  and  weake,  and  deprived  of  the  use  of  her  lower  lhnbes.  Shee 
presently  smelt  very  unsavourily.  Shee  rotted  in  the  womb,  and,  within 
two  dayes  after,  died,  through  their  unhandsome  doings. 

Usually,  for  the  most  part,  when  the  arme  commeth  down,  igno- 
rant midwives  destroy  the  child,  by  violent  drawing  by  the  arme,  in 
hopes,  speedily  to  deliver  the  woman  by  their  great  strength,  by  drawing 
by  the  child's  arme,  to  put  it  out  of  the  mother's  body.  At  last,  their 
endeavours  proving  bad,  not  with  their  consent,  or  desires,  but  through 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  perswasions  of  their  friends,  I  have  been  sent  for,  to  help  severall 
women  in  their  extremities. 

In  February  Anno  1664,  Mary  Barton,  the  wife  of  Simon,  living 
at  Chelhston,  some  three  miles  from  Darby,  had  her  child  comming  by 
the  arme.  After  some  sufferings,  her  husband  came  for  mee,  whilest 
that  the  child  was  alive.  But  the  midwife  would  bee  working,  and, 
with  her  pulling  by  the  child's  arme,  shee  had  destroyed  the  infant, 
before  I  could  come  unto  the  house. 

I  drew  down  the  feet;  the  arme,  without  any  enforcement,  reduced 
it  self,  through  the  circular  motion  of  the  child's  body  turning  round. 
The  woman  recovered,  and  shee  hath  oft  thanked  mee  for  being  instru- 
mental! for  the  saving  of  her  life. 

I  do  not  think  it  amisse  here,  in  this  place,  to  insert  verba  An- 
tonii  Everardi,  M.  D. 

Referam,  hoc  casu,  quid  beatee  mese  conjugi  accideret.  Tertio 
fsetu  gravidam,  nono  prcegnationis  mense,  labores  parturientium  arripi- 
unt  circa  noctem.  Mox  rupta  aqua  (ut,  hie,  mulieres  loqui  amant) 
extra  genitale  infantuli  manus  propendit.  Ubi  obstetrix  advenisset, 
uxorem  meam  in  sedili  collocavit,  eamq  ad  continuos  conatus  (me  no- 
lente  nee  instigante  natura)  adegit.  Cum  vero  res  eo  modo  non  succe- 
deret,  meamq  conjugem  supra  sedem  continuo  detineret,  ac  diris  craciati- 
bus  illapsam  ex  uteri  cervice  manum,  brachiumq  retrudere  in  uterum 
niteretur,  quo  fcetuin  ad  exitum  commodius  disponeret,  Ego,  prae  dolore 
charge  meae  conjugis  impatiens,  ac  indesinenter  obstetricem  admonens,  ne 
quidem  elapsi  membri  reductionem  in  uterum  cogitaret  possibilem,  multo 
minus  moliretur;  secundam  obstetricem  accersiri  jussi,prEesertim  cum  uxor 
mihi  nunciaret,  quid  obstetrix  earn  dilaceraret  per  illam  praeconceptam, 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

ac  miseram  elapsi  membri  repulsioneni.  Cum  insequenti  die  mane  ob- 
stetrix  altera  venisset,  ilia  manus  ad  opus  applicans,  remq  clihgenter 
explorans,  uxorem  naeaiii  in  lectum  deposuit,  mandavitq,  ut  quietam  se 
detineret,  nullosq  conatus  excitaret,  nisi  quando  natura  earn  sui  admon- 
eret  officii.  Interim  obstetrix  ilia  prudens,  et  expertissima  prsedixit 
inihi,  amicisq  preesentibns,  uxorem  meam  non  ante  parturam,  quam 
foetus  in  utero  ex  indebito  situ,  irritisq  conatibus  strangularetur,  quod 
eventus  docuit.  Multiplicati  sunt  labores  parturientis,  et  foetus,  inflexo 
ad  dorsam  capite,  (salva  matre)  prodiit  in  lucem. 

I  suppose  that  this  learned  Gentleman  had  not  much  judgment  in 
the  practice  of  midwifery,  when  that  hee  did  write  his  wife's  sorrowfull 
case,  with  her  great  sufferings,  and  her  midwife's  ignorant  doings. 

Had  the  first  midwife,  so  soon  as  shee  came,  reduced  the  arme 
before  shee  brought  her  to  her  stoole,  shee  might  have  had  the  better 
successe,  yet  it  proved  her  to  bee  the  better  midwife,  for  that  shee  en- 
deavoured to  reduce  it,  although  shee  failed  in  the  performing  of  it, 
knowing,  That  the  child  could  not  bee  born  in  that  unnaturall  posture. 

For  the  second  midwife,  shee  was  onely  to  bee  commended  for 
that  shee  took  her  from  sitting  on  the  stoole,  and  putting  her  to  bed. 
For  her  predictions,  they  were  ridiculous.  Shee  might  have  said,  That 
the  mother,  through  this  labour,  might  as  well  have  perished,  as  the 
child;  or  that  the  child  would  bee  first  strangled,  before  it  would  bee 

But  God  was  mercifull  unto  this  labouring  woman  in  her  dis- 
tresse,  and  it  is  not  to  bee  doubted,  but  that  the  posture  of  the  unnat- 
uraE  birth  was  altered  as  shee  lay  in  the  warm  bed,  and  moved,  and 
turned  herself  from  side  to  side  in  the  same.     And  I  am  confident,  That 

Percivall  Willu^hby,  Gentleman. 


neither  the  Doctor,,  or  either  of  the  midwives  did,  or  could  receive  the 
child  in  this  posture,  having  the  head  turned  backward,  and  lying  on 
the  child's  back,  and  thus  shee  to  bee  delivered. 

But  this  good  Dr.  giving  too  much  credence  to  tins  last  prating, 
ignorant  midwife,  and  to  her  vain  predictions,  by  her  words  was  de- 
luded. Otherwise  hee  would  not  have  published  what  no  woman, 
though  little  verst  in  midwifery,  can  imagine  to  bee  true. 

Isabel  Dakins,  of  Burrowes  Ash  nigh  Darby,  was  delivered  by 
mee  of  a  dead  child  Nov.  last  die     Ois  1664  about  six  a  clock  at  night. 

The  arme  came  down.  I  did  not  put  up  the  arme,  but  delivered 
her  quickly  by  the  feet  of  the  child.  The  arme  went  up,  of  itself, 
without  any  forcing,  and  shee  soon  recovered,  and  is  living. 

In  the  yeare  1633  I  was  intreated  to  come  to  one  Goodwife 
Osborn  of  Ockesbruck,  whose  child's  arme  had  beene  in  the  world  foure 
dayes,  from  Thursday  till  Sunday  at  night,  and  the  cliild  was  not  dead, 
nor  the  arme  corrupted.  I  found  with  her  two  midwives,  whom  I  much 
commend,  for  that  they  had  not  pulled  the  child  by  the  arme,  nor  had 
offered  any  violence  to  the  mother,  or  the  child. 

I  saw  that  the  arme  was  not  swel'd,  and  that  it  was  ruddy,  and  of 
a  good  lively  colour.  I  put  my  finger  into  the  child's  hand,  and  the 
child  did  gripe  it. 

I  asked  the  midwives  what  they  thought  of  tins  child,  whether  it 
was  alive,  or  dead.  They  said,  That  the  child  was  as  dead  as  a  doore 
naile,  and  that  I  might  do  what  I  would  with  it.  I  shewed  them  their 
great  mistake,  and  said,  That  a  dead  child  could  not  hold  one  by  the 
finger,  and  shewed  them  the  child's  hand  holding  my  finger. 

An  arm 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  placed  the  woman  kneeling,  I  quickly  reduced  the  arme. 
After  this  a  sudden  throw  seized  on  her,  and  tumbled  out,  in  an  instant, 
both  infant,  and  after-burden  together. 

This  narration  I  thought  good  to  mention,  to  shew  the  force  of 
nature,  how  quickly  shee  performed  her  work,  after  that  the  obstacle 
was  removed;  and  that  the  child's  arme,  in  foure  dayes,  did  not  corrupt. 
Her  son,  and  shee  were  living  in  the  yeare  1660.  I  saw  this  man,  her 
son,  again  in  1668. 

And  I  beleeve,  that,  if  midwives  would  forbeare  (as  these  two 
midwives  did)  all  violent  strugliugs,  and  pulling  of  children  by  their 
armes,  in  this  unnaturall  birth  of  the  comming  first  by  the  arme,  and 
that  they  would  bee  patient,  and  stay  untill  better  help  could  be  attain- 
ed, that  many  infants  would  bee  borne  alive,  which,  by  their  rash,  im- 
patient hastines,  bee  destroyed  in  the  mother's  womb. 

And,  from  this  child,  I  beleeve,  in  part,  but  not  absolutely,  that, 
if  a  dead  child  bee  found  holding  anything  in  the  hand,  that  the  mother, 
or  somebody  else,  is  not  quite  free  from  the  death  of  the  child.  But  I 
will  not  absolutely  conclude  the  mother  to  bee  guilty  of  the  murder  of 
the  infant. 

Alice,  the  wife  of  Ralph  Doxy,  was  delivered  by  mee  of  a  dead 
child.  The  arme  came  first,  and  it  was  mortified  by  the  midwives  pull- 
ings.  I  slid  up  my  hand,  and,  upon  the  child's  belly  I  found  the 
knees.  I  fetched  down  the  feet,  and  quickly  laid  her  at  Snelton,  Apr. 
27  die  Ois  1662. 

Grace  Edinser,  the  wife  of  William  Eclinser  of  Elton  in  Darby- 
shire,  had  the  same  birth,  and,  after  the  same  manner,  I  quickly  deliver- 
ed her  by  the  child's  feet,  May  24  circa  meridiem  1 662. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  travailed  all  night  in  May  1631  and  came  to  Nottingham  by 
sun-rising  to  one  Mrs.  Reason.  With  her  I  found  two  midwives,  and 
severall  other  women  of  good  credit,  and  repute,  all  expecting  my 
coinming,  and  desiring  my  help.  I  found  Mrs.  Eeason  Aveake,  and, 
through  her  long  sufferings,  her  countenance  began  to  chang,  and  I 
perceived  her  nose  half  way  palish.  The  birth  came  by  the  arme,  the 
which  the  midwives  endeavoured  to  reduce,  but  failed  in  the  performance, 
and  the  child  was  dead  by  their  operations. 

I  thought  it  not  good  with  new  strivings  to  disquiet  her  body,  by 
turning  the  birth  to  the  feet,  but  rather  to  take  the  arme  off  close  to  the 
shoulder,  and,  afterward,  to  draw  forth  the  body  of  the  dead  child  with 
the  crochet,  following  the  counsell,  and  directions  of  Pareus. 

All  these  operations  were  quickly  performed,  and  the  after-birth 
was  soon  obtained.  So  she  was  laid  into  her  bed.  Thus  shee  was 
eased  of  her  tortures,  after  her  delivery.  I  gave  her  an  infusion  of  tin 
in  white  wine,  which  was  made  in  a  quart  pewter  pot,  having  the  lid 
put  down,  and  so  the  pot  was  kept  warm  by  the  fire,  of  which  shee  took 
every  morning,  and  night,  a  wine  glasse  full. 

This  medicine  kept  her  body  in  a  gentle,  breathing  sweat,  and 
shee  was  much  refreshed  by  it.  By  degrees  shee  recovered  her  health, 
with  strength.  Yet,  for  some  time,  the  neck  of  her  bladder  was  so  in- 
feebled,  that  shee  could  not  hold  her  water,  but,  as  strength  increased, 
this  infirmity  left  her,  and  shee  lived  in  good  health,  above  30  yeares 
after  her  sufferings. 

Mercatus  doth  not  approve  of  the  cruelty  in  cutting  riving  chil- 
dren in  several  pieces  to  deliver  women. 

Yerum  inquit   licet    hsec    omnia  prodesse    non    videantur;      ad 

Place   this 
with  unnatu- 
rall  births. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

crudele  illud,  et  inhumanum  chirurgise  opus,  quo  vivus  dissecatur  puer 
(dictu  profecto  horrendum)  confugieudura  nunquain  est,  etiam  si,  ex 
Avic.  Aefcij,  et  Moschionis  consilio,  fieri  posse  constet :  quod  uou  liceat 
christiano  virum  interficere,  vitse  alterius  gratia.  Prseterquarn  quod 
multi  citra  onmem  expectationem  salvantur. 

Sed,  implorata  Domini  nostri  Jesu  Christi  miserieordia,  iterum  ad 
tutiora  foetui,  et  matri  auxilia  redeundum  esse  arbitror;  et  iterum  ten- 
tanda  qua?  antea  diximus,  vel  alia  denuo  experiunda. 

ft  corticum  cassia?,  fistula?  5iij  bulliant  in  vino  albo  tenui  ad 
medietatem ;  Cujus  cyathum  unum  cum  jure  cicerum  et  9j  cinam.  porri- 
ges.  Prodest  et  singulis  lioris  absorbere  croci  gr.  x.  cum  rnodico  vino 
albo.  Suffumigium  item  exungula  muli.  Conferunt  quoq.  pilulae, 
qua?  recipiunt  cinam.  cas.  lign.  cumin,  aristoloch.  myrr.  costi  aa  ^iiij 
styra.  rubia?  aa  3ij  Sabin.  5ijss  opii  gr.  viij.  Fiant  pil.  cujus  quantitas 
sit  5s.  Sic  pra?stat  non  parum  illud  medicamentum,  quod  recipit  sabin. 
^iij  rutse  5ij  cicut.  3J  hysso.  Cinam.  rub.  tinctor.  aa  5iij.  Fiant  pil. 
quarum  porrigere  poteris  5J  aut  3s  cum  decocto  sabina?. 

Yalet  etiam  suffumigium  ex  stercore  vacca?,  et  pessarium  quod 
recipit  myrr.  hellebor.  nigri,  opipanacis,  fellis  tauri  aa  partes  a?quales. 
Terantur,  et  fiant  pessaria  longiuscula. 

Interim,  turn  in  uteram,  ut  consulit  Avicen.  lubrificantia,  et  cero- 
taria  subtilia,  et  mucilagines  infundes.  et  adipes  liquefactos,  et  albumen 
ovi,  et  vitellum  ejus. 

Utimur  etiam  sequenti  clysmate,  per  syringam  aut  cannam  infuso. 
ft  lactis  vacca?  ^iiij  pinguedinis  porcina?  5s  muceaginis  lini  et  raclicis 
althea?  aa  giij  M.  Quibus  factis,  tentet  iterum  diligens  obstetrix,  aut 
peritus  cbirurgus,  dexteritate  et  vi  illata,  puerum  evellere,  nitens,  et  omni 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


arte  studens  puerum  extrahere  vivum,  licet  sit  cum  periculo  aliquo  de- 
formitatis,  vel  quod  manens  supersit,  imbecillus,  aut  utcunq.  lcesus, 
Cavens  diligenter,  ne  voluntarie  ipsum  interficiat.  Nam,  si  malum  ali- 
quod  illi,  hac  ratione,  sucereseat,  levius  est. 

Interim  autem  vires  parturientis  omni  arte  reflcere  oportet,  et 
pueri  umbilicum  non  resecare,  donee  vel  rningat,  vel  pleret,  aut  aliquo 
modo  ex  labore  partus  reficiatur,  quod  Hippocrates  docuerat  lib.  de 

Si  forte  contigerit  matrem  in  partu  periclitari,  ffetu  intus  vivo  su- 

perstite,    quod  ex  motibus,   et  subsaltationibus  infantis  conjicies,  turn 

demum,  posthabita  matris,  cura   ejus  tantum  habenda  est.     Principio 

igitur   convenit  morientis   os,  et  genitalia  patentia  adservare;  ut  per  ea 

vitalem  spiritum,  et  anhelitum  recipere  possit 

et  sectione  uteri  sic  nati  Csesares 


I  never  used  this  harsh  and  cruell  way.  Yet  ignorant  men  have 
used  it  with,  happy  successe.  But  to  some  it  hath  proved  unfortunate. 
It  is  a  work  not  difficult  to  performe.  It  hath  been  performed  by 
ignorant  men,  and  the  women  have  recovered.  But  I  prefer  the  work 
don  by  the  hand,  by  turning  the  birth  from  the  head  to  the  feet.  And 
in  my  thoughts  it  is  much  safer  then  the  Ceesarean  section  or  crochet. 

I  have  seen  two  men.  For  the  delivery  of  them  the  midwives 
used  their  fingers  instead  of  other  instruments.  One  of  them  had  his 
eye  put  forth.  The  other  not  only  lost  his  eye,  but  Ms  cheek  on  one 
side  torne,  yet  they  both  lived  to  man's  estate. 

Vide  the  schemes,  and  take  that,  which  serveth  best ;  for  the 
Cesarean  Section,  I  do  not  like  it. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

By  the  mother's  weakness  and  too  much  slimy  moisture,  abiding 
in  the  mouth  of  the  womb,  a  child  may  be  so  enfeebled,  that  neither 
the  mother,  or  the  child  have  power,  through  nature's  force,  to  helpe 
themselves.  So  nature  becommeth  sluggish,  and  ceaseth  to  drive  forth 
the  child;  and  this  overabounding  with  humidity  is,  usually,  found 
destructive  both  to  the  mother  and  the  child. 

I  have  observed,  that  much  moisture  lying  about  the  passages  of 
the  womb,  cloth  much  enfeeble  the  mother's  expulsive  faculty.  It 
maketh  the  child  sluggish,  and  the  mother  weake,  and  both  their 
spirits  drowned  with  humidity. 

So  also  too  much  drines,  when  all  the  waters  have  issued  before 
the  birth,  the  child  will  not  descend,  because  of  the  siccity,  but 
abideth,  as  it  were,  imprisoned,  and  locked  up  in  the  womb. 

In  these  two  cases,  with  your  hand  first  endeavour  to  see  what 
help  may  be  afforded,  if  that  the  mother's  weaknes  will  permit. 

But  if  you  cannot  prevaile  by  the  hand,  and  medicines  no  way 
help,  necessity,  as  the  last  refuge,  will  compell  you  to  use  the  crochet, 
in  hopes,  to  save  the  mother's  life. 

Tender  consciences  have  consulted  with  Divines,  in  these  ex- 
tremities, what  is  most  fitting  to  bee  done,  to  save  the  mother's  life. 
The  more  judicious  and  mercifull  hearted  have  willed  to  reliev  the 
mother,  and  I  shall  consent  to  their  judgments. 

The  more  ignorant,  and  merciles  men  would  not  yield  to  help 
either  the  mother,  or  child. 

In  this  sad  doubt,  and  grievous  operation,  both  mother  and  child 
will  perish,  unles  the  mother  bee  relieved  by  the  crochet,  or  the  child 
by  the  Cesarean  Dissection. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Dr.  Harvey  saith,  there  are  chiefly  two  sorts  of  unnaturall  births, 
namely,  when  the  foetus  is  either  born  before,  or  after  the  time  allotted 
by  nature  (and  this  is  a  kind  of  abortive  birth)  and  the  birth  proves 
difficult  and  painfull,  because  it  doth  not  succeed  in  that  manner,  and 
order  as  it  ought  to  do.  Or  else  it  is  hindered  by  some  bad  symp- 
tomes,  which  commeth  to  passe,  chiefly  for  two  reasons. 

1.  Namely,  that  the  mother  doth  faile  in  her  expulsive  office. 

2.  Or  else,  that  the  foetus  is  himself  but  sluggish,  and  so  doth 
not  promote  Ins  owne  release. 

For  a.  facile  and  naturall  delivery  relieth  upon  the  endeavour,  and 
joint  furtherance  of  both  parties. 

Now,  when  the  poor,  afflicted,  labouring  woman  hath  made  use 
of  the  utmost  of  her  strength,  and  endeavours,  to  produce  a  birth,  and 
that  her  life  lyeth  bleeding,  with  tortures,  and  pangs  of  labours  no  way 
helping  her,  and  that,  in  her  sorrowfull  miseries,  shee  intreateth  to  bee 
helped,  and  to  save  her  life ;  who  can  bee  so  unnaturall  to  deny  her 
request !  when  that  by  other  wayes  shee  cannot  bee  helped. 

I  was,  by  my  good  friend  Dr.  John  Fisher,  intreated  to  visit  a 
gentlewoman  in  labour.  The  birth-place  was  very  moist,  and  filled  with 
a  bloody ish  moisture.  Shee  had  no  throws.  The  expulsive  faculty  was 
extinct.  The  child  was  sluggish,  and  weake,  no  way  helping  his  own 
release,  yet  her  paines  continued ;  and  medicines  prevailed  nothing  to 
procure  her  delivery.  Yet  I  believed,  by  some  signes,  that  the  child 
might  bee  living.  Therefore  I  deferred  the  time,  and  put  her  off  for  a 
day,  and  a  night,  in  reference  to  the  delivery.  In  the  ensuing  morning, 
I  found  that  shee  had  suffered  a  restles  night,  and  that  her  spirits  were 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

dejected,  and  shee  much  troubled  for  my  delaying,  and  shee  told  lier 
husband,  that  shee  could  not,  much  longer,  continue  with  these  ex- 
tremities, without  some  speedy  help ;  which  moved  her  husband  to  bee 
troubled,  and  offended  with  my  delayes,  saying  that  Ms  wife  would  bee 
lost,  if  that  shee  longer  suffered.  But  I  told  him,  that  I  thought  that 
the  child  was  living,  and  that  I  was  unwilling  to  have  my  hands  tinc- 
tured with  blood. 

Her  husband  sent  for  the  minister.  Hee,  speaking  with  the 
woman,  and  seing  her  weaknes,  the  minister  did  move  mee  to  draw  the 
child,  and  assured  mee,  although  the  child  was  living,  that  I  might  law- 
fully do  it  in  such  an  extremity ;  and  by  her  husband's  intreaties,  with 
the  desires  of  her,  and  her  friends,  and  the  minister's  persuasions,  I  was 
overruled,  and  did  draw  away  a  weake  living  infant.  The  minister  was 
at  hand  to  baptize  this  weake  child,  which  was  as  good  as  dying  before 
it  was  extracted. 

After  the  extraction,  the  moist  issue  of  bloodyish  humours  ceased, 
and  her  paines  abated,  and  shee  recovered. 

I  stayed  a  day,  and  a  night  longer,  after  her  delivery,  and  each 
tiring  succeeded  well  for  her  amendment. 

A.nd,  upon  after  considerations,  I  was  better  satisfied;  that,  had 
not  this  way  been  taken  forthwith,  that  the  mother,  with  a  little  longer 
delaying,  would  have  perished,  as  well  as  the  child. 

The  birth  came  naturally  by  the  head,  but  the  humidity  in  the 
birth-place  was  great,  and  her  Aveaknes  greater.  I  feared  to  turn  the 
child,  and  to  bring  the  birth  by  the  feet,  least  that  shee  should  have 
perished,  through  the  operation,  under  my  hands. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


When  the  child  is  great,  and  all  the  waters  have  issued,  a  hard 
and  difficult  labour  usually  followeth. 

Anne  Houghton  of  Darby,  having  been  long  in  labour  of  a  dead 
child,  that  was,  for  greatnes,  a  little  gyant,  desired  my  help.  And  al- 
though I  knew  that  the  child  was  dead,  yet  I  was  desirous  to  hear  what 
a  grave  Divine  would  say  in  a  doubtfull  case,  and,  in  my  proceedings,  to 
have  his  approbation.  This  Divine  thought  it  much  better  to  let  the 
child  perish,  then  to  lose  the  mother's  life  with  the  child.  Upon  his 
words  I  did  draw  away  the  dead  child  with  the  crochet,  and  shee  hath 
had  severall  children  since,  and  shee  was  there  living  in  health  Anno 

Good  wife  Anne  Barnet  of  Church  Mayfield  in  Stafford-shire, 
Anno  1663  had  suffered  much  through  a  corrupted,  dead  child,  for 
severall  dayes. 

I  had  delivered  her  of  a  dead  child,  two  yeares  afore  this  time.  I 
thought  that  I  could  have  laid  her  again  by  the  feet,  but,  through  the 
chines  of  the  womb,  the  child  would  not  move,  and  one  of  the  legs  se- 
parated at  the  knee,  in  the  drawing  by  the  child's  foot.  Seing  this,  I 
used  the  crochet  to  draw  forth  the  head.  Afterwards  with  much  strug- 
ling,  I  brought  forth  the  rest  of  the  body.  The  child  was  great,  and 
swel'd.  It  was  rotten,  and  smelt  unsavouryly ;  upon  the  after-birth, 
nigh  to  the  navel-string,  was  a  gangrene,  with  blisters.  Yet  this  woman 
recovered,  and  did  well,  and  had  a  child  since  Anno  1668  and  shee  was 
living  in  Anno  1669. 

This  woman  putteth  mee  in  mind  of  another  woman,  that  did 
well,  at  Spoonedon.  Shee  had  the  use  of  her  limbs,  from  the  navel 
downward,  taken  away,  before  I  came  unto  her.     Shee  was  sensible,  and 


With  dif- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

rationall.  I  was  unwilling  to  have  laid  her,  for  that  shee  was  very  weake ; 
assuring  the  women,  that  shee  could  not  live  many  houres.  Yet,  at  the 
woman's  intreaty,  together  with  the  perswasions  of  her  neighbours,  shee 
was  placed  kneeling  on  the  side  of  a  bed,  and  was  supported  by  the 
women,  holding  their  hands  under  her  belly.  Without  any  forcing  the 
child  came  of  itself,  and  the  body  of  it  was  full  of  great  gangrened  blisters. 
The  woman,  about  an  hour  after,  waxed  sleepy.  Not  longer  after  shee 
departed,  having  her  body  corrupted  with  the  child's  rottennes.  I  had 
sweet  herbs,  with  warm  water  to  wash  my  hands.  But  the  ill  savour 
did  not  suddenly  leave  my  hands.     This  was  done  about  the  yeare  1638. 


Elianor  Ragge  of  Darby  anno  1664  having  had  a  long,  and  tedi- 
ous labour,  was  left  undelivered  by  her  midwife.  Shee  sent  for  mee ; 
no  medicines  prevailed.  The  waters  were  all  issued,  and  the  womb  was 
left  drie,  and  the  child  was  dead.  With  much  trouble  I  brought  forth 
the  head  by  the  use  of  the  crochet.  It  stuck  very  hard  at  the  shoulders, 
and  much  at  the  breast. 

I  was  wearied,  and  spent  with  fainting,  through  much  endeavour- 
ing, and  striving  to  draw  forth  the  rest  of  the  body.  For  sometime  I 
was  enforced  to  leave  the  work,  to  recover  again  my  strength.  The 
work  came  on  very  slowly,  by  little  and  little,  and  difficultly,  until  it 
came  past  the  navell.  I  beleeve  that  I  was  an  houre,  or  more,  in 
striving  to  get  the  body  forth.     Shee  patiently  suffered  all  the  time. 

At  last  God  permitted  her  a  gracious  help,  and  freed  her  of  her 
sufferings.  Contrary  to  my  expectation,  shee  recovered,  shee  was  long 
weak,  and,  from  her  bladder,  during  the  extremity  of  her  weaknes, 
came  severall  little  soft  stones,  infolded,  and  wrapt  in  slime,  and  skins. 
Shee  hath  had  another  child  since  still-born.  The  os  coccygis  of  her 
body  is  very  broad,  inverted  inward,  no  way  flexible,  and  this  causes  her 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


hard  deliveries.,  and,  I  beleeve,  that  shee  never  will  bring  forth  a  mature 
child,  living,  at  the  full  time  of  birth. 

Mrs.  Middleton  of   Wandsly  had   suffered  several!  dayes 

great  paines  in  labour,  and  was  somewhat  distracted  with  her  sufferings. 

Shee  was  a  little  woman,  and  her  child  was  too  great  for  the  pas- 
sage. I  hoped  that  I  could  have  drawn  the  child  by  the  feet,  but  her 
body  was  narrow,  and  the  womb  was  filled  with  the  child,  lying  in  a 
round  lump.  All  the  waters  were  issued,  and  her  body  was  left  drie ; 
so  that  I  could  not  turn  the  child,  after  that  I  had  obtained  a  foot  in 
my  hand,  but  was  compelled  to  desist,  and,  at  that  time,  to  leave  the 

This  did  put  her  to  some  paine,  so  that  shee  would  have  had 
her  husband  to  have  sent  mee  away.  But,  with  good  words,  I  regained 
again  her  favour,  promising  that  I  would  hurt  her  no  more. 

That  day  I  placed  her  againe  kneeling,  and  rinding  that  the  child 
was  dead,  knowing  that  I  could  not  alter  the  birth,  I  used  the  crotchet, 
by  which  the  skull  was  much  broken  in  pieces,  yet  it  would  not  come 
easily.     It  did  also  stick  greatly  at  the  shoulders  and  at  the  breast. 

I  was  necessitated  to  intreat  the  assisting  women,  to  turn  the  lips 
of  her  body  over  the  child's  limbs,  by  putting  their  ringers  between 
her's,  and  the  child's  body,  whilest  that  I  drew  the  child  with  my  hand, 
and  instrument. 

This  force  was  continued  untill  the  child  was  drawn  past  the 
navell.  Afterward,  the  rest  of  the  body,  with  the  afterbirth,  was  easily 
procured.     So  shee  was  laid  in  her  bed. 

Shee  was,  sometimes,  very  sensible ;  and  then  shee  would  fling 

p  2 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

off  all  the  cloths, ;  and  he  naked,  if  not  carefully  attended.  Shee  lived 
some  five  dayes,  after  her  delivery ;  and,  being  dead,  shee  voided  much 
moisture  by  the  mouth. 

I  was  in  the  house  with  a  good  lady,  that  was  long  in  labour.  In 
her  extremity,  I  was  called,  by  the  midwife,  unto  her,  and  desired  to 
feel  how  the  birth  came.  I  found  the  skull  divided,  one  halfe  thereof 
was  born,  but  the  other  part  was  not  come  forth.  I  instructed  the  mid- 
wife how,  quickly,  to  deliver  her  of  tins  dead  birth.  And  afore,  or, 
since  that  time,  I  never  did  see  such  a  separation  in  the  skull  of  any 
infant's  head. 

This  lady,  for  severall  years,  had  an  implacable  enemy  adhering 
to  her  body,  (a  troublesome  loosenes)  that  took  advantage  of  her 
weaknes  in  her  child-bed,  and  through  this  loosenes,  this  good  lady 
ended  her  dayes.     In  tins  place  put  Catherine  Davis. 

Difficulty  of  birth  may  also  bee  caused  through  ill  position  of  the 
bones,  which  hath  beene  observed  in  such,  as  have  beene  crooked  in 
their  bodies.  As  also  in  others,  which  have  weake  backs,  and  loynes, 
going  wadling  in  their  childhood.  As  also  in  others,  which  have  had 
the  infirmity,  called  the  Rickets ;  and  in  such,  as  have  been  compelled 
to  weare  iron  bodies,  to  keep  them  from  being  crooked. 

Through  these  meanes,  their  tender  bones,  in  their  minorities, 
have  been  so  altered,  and  pressed  together,  and  with  time  confirmed, 
that,  losing,  in  part  thus  their  circular  roundness  O  have  become  O 
ovall,  through  which  the  child  will  never  bee  produced,  but  by  violent 
force  of  hand,  or  by  some  instrument.  Medicines,  here  can  do  no  good. 
If  it  come  by  the  head,  the  woman  will  not  bee  delivered  without  the 
use  of  the  crochet. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


If  the  birth  should  bee  turned  to  the  feet,  yet  it  would  prove  dif- 
ficult to  save  the  child's  life. 

Also,  some  women  have  the  os  eoccygis  so  fixt,  that  it  will  not  go 
back  at  all,  to  give  any  enlargement  to  the  departing  infant.  This  causeth 
a  difficult  birth,  chiefly,  when  it  is  broad  at  the  end,  and  turned  some- 
what inward. 

I  knew  a  woman  of  low  stature  crooked,  and  not  well  framed  in 
the  position  of  her  bones.  It  was  her  sorrowfull  mishap  alwayes  to  have 
her  children  drawn  away  from  her  body  by  a  chirurgion,  that  used  to  lay 
women.  They  all  died  in  the  womb,  or,  at  most,  lived  but  a  short  time 
after  the  extraction. 

March  the  23.  1660  I  was  called  to  a  young  woman,  who  had 
beene  three  dayes  in  labour,  and  the  midwives  knew  not  how  to  deliver 
her.  They  said,  That  the  navel-string  had  been  two  dayes  in  the  world. 
It  was  cold,  and  had  no  pulsation  in  it,  and  the  child's  head  came  first. 

I  attended  patiently  on  her,  and  on  her  friends  desires,  and  was  not 
willing  hastily,  or  rashly  to  proceed.  But  when  no  medicines,  nor  the 
midwives  endeavours  prevailed  not  with  her,  then  her  husband  (being 
a  minister,  with  her  own  mother,  and  others  of  her  friends)  desired 
mee  to  make  use  of  any  way  to  save  her  life,  though  it  were  with  in- 

After  my  usuall  way,  she  kneeled  on  a  bolster,  I  endeavoured  to 
remove  the  child,  and  to  return  it  again  into  the  woman's  body,  in  hopes, 
that,  afterward,  I  might  draw  it  forth  by  the  feet.  But,  through  the  ill 
position  of  the  bones,  and  greatnes  of  the  child,  squeezed  in  a  lump 
together,  I  could  not  move  it,  or  get  my  hand  to  the  upper  part  of  the 

Mrs.  James, 

Mrs.  Charles 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Shee  was  of  a  low  stature,  and  the  birth-place  narrow,  and,  in 
those  places,  ill  framed. 

Being  fully  satisfied  that  the  child  was  dead,  I  drew  forth  the  head 
with  the  instrument,  with  some  trouble.  And,  afterward  (not  easily)  the 
rest  of  the  body,  and  then  immediately  I  fetched  the  afterbirth. 

Being  laid  in  her  bed,  I  gave  her  some  oile  of  charity,  and  left 
her  some  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  to  take  sometimes,  and  Balsamum  Hys- 
tericum  to  anoint  the  bruised  places,  which  freed  her  of  her  after -paines, 
and  sufferings. 

This  woman,  in  her  infancy,  was  afflicted  with  the  rickets,  which 
made  her  go  wadling,  and  cringing  in  her  back,  and  loines;  the  os  coc- 
cygis,  and  pubis  were  too  nigh,  one  to  the  other,  ovally  formed,  and  the 
point  of  os  coccygis  was  broad,  and  bending  inward,  which  hindered  the 
descent  of  the  child,  and  kept  it  from  entering  through  the  bones. 

At  the  end  of  three  weekes,  a  loosnes  did  weaken  her.  In  my 
absence,  my  wife  sent  her  these  directions,  which  proved  succesfull. 

Shee  first  willed  her  to  take  a  clyster  of  boiled  milk  with  sugar. 
Afterward,  to  take,  every  half  houre,  a  spoonful  of  julep,  made  of  cinna- 
mon water  three  ounces,  and  diascordium  three  drachmes.  To  make 
her  rice  aleberies,  and  to  see  the  rice  in  all  her  broths,  and  meats,  and  to 
take  a  thimblefull  of  the  powder  of  acornes  with  their  husks  powdered 
together,  at  lest,  thrice  a  day,  with  these  things  shee  was  recovered,  and 

May  the  fourth  16611  gave  her  a  visit,  and  found  her  walking  in 
her  house,  well  recovered,  cheerfull,  and  hearty.     Shee  much  commend- 
ed the  clyster.     Shee  said  that  the  midwives  did  all  afflict  her,  chiefely 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


one  of  them,  and  that  I  troubled  her  not  at  all,  in  respect  to  their 

I  prayed  God  to  send  her  better  succes,  if  that  shee  should  have 
more  children,  and  so  taking  my  leave,  departed. 

About  two  yeares  after,  shee  had  another  child,  and  was  again 
tormented  by  midwives.  In  her  sufferings  I  was  sent  for,  and,  finding 
that  the  child  had  not  entered  through  any  part  of  the  bones,  I  turned 
the  birth,  and  drew  it  away  by  the  feet,  but  the  child  was  dead.  Shee 
being  ill,  and  weak,  her  old  enemy,  (a  loosenes)  did  the  second  time  as- 
sault her  body,  and  brought  her  to  her  last  end. 

I  was  called  into  Cheshire  to  a  good  woman  in  December  1650. 
Shee  had  been  much  afflicted  with  the  rickets  in  her  child-hood.  Shee 
had  severall  children  drawn  from  her  body  by  the  chirurgions  at  London, 
yet  shee  escaped,  with  much  hazard  of  her  life.  Shee  told  me,  That  all 
her  children  were  very  livery  at  the  beginning  of  her  travaile,  but  they 
were  all  dead  before  they  could  be  born.  Her  words  I  found  true.  For, 
in  her  travaile,  when  the  waters  flowed,  the  child  was  lively,  and  did 
suck  my  finger ;  but,  through  the  ill  position  of  the  bones,  the  child 
could  not  descend.  Being  desirous  to  save  the  child's  life,  I  turned  the 
child  in  the  womb.  Although  I  have  known  severall  children  born  with 
more  trouble,-  and  greater  extremity,  and  live ;  yet  this  child  was  dead 
before  shee  was  delivered.  And  shee  herself  lived  but  a  very  short  time 
after  her  delivery. 

All  the  time  of  her  going  with  child,  she  was  heartless,  and  de- 
jected, and  conceited,  That  she  should  die  in  the  child  bed  of  this  child. 
And  for  that  cause  fitted  herself  afore  hand  for  her  departure,  by  the 
receiving  the  holy  Communion. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Mrs.  Alestry, 
D.  f 

January  the  12  Anno  1669  I  was  intreated,  and,  at  that  time, 
engaged  by  a  worthy,  good,  loving  Gentleman,  to  bee  ready  to  attend 
his  good  wife,  and  to  assist  her  and  her  midwife  (if  need  required)  in  the 
time  of  her  travaile,  with  the  best,  and  utmost  of  my  endeavours. 

January  the  thirtieth,  travail  came  upon  her,  about  eleven  o}  clock 
in  the  night,  and  so  continued  with  throwes,  and  paines  all  that  night, 
and  the  next  day,  without  any  descent  of  the  child. '  The  paines  con- 
tinued all  the  time  in  her  back  onely. 

At  night  January  the  31  I  was  sent  for,  and,  upon  discourse  with 
her,  and  the  midwife,  I  conceived  that  the  labor  would  be  difficult,  and 
full  of  danger,  and  I  was  much  more  afraid  after  that  (with  her  consent) 
I  had  felt  her  body.  I  perceived  that  shee  had  undergone  great  strivings, 
and  the  lips  of  her  body  were  sweFd,  and  the  child  far  off,  and  the  pas- 
sages very  narrow,  ovally  formed,  and  the  bones  not  far  distant  the  one 
from  the  other. 

Whereupon  1  intreated  her  to  take  a  gentle  clyster,  to  dilate  the 
wayes,  and  to  supple  her  body,  and  to  mitigate  her  paines,  willing  her  to 
keep  it  all  night,  and  to  endeavour  to  sleep,  and  I  stayed  all  that  night 
in  the  house  with  her. 

The  next  morning  Feb.  1, 1  caused  a  Doctor  of  Physick  to  be  sent 
for,  and  the  Divines  were  intreated  their  prayers,  to  desire  God  Alsuffi- 
cient,  that,  with  his  compassion,  hee  would  be  pleased  to  relieve  her 
sufferings,  with  much  mercy. 

I  concealed  nothing  from  the  Doctor,  either  of  Physick,  or  of  my 
operations.  I  told  him  of  my  feares,  and  her  great  dangers.  I  desired 
his  assistance.     Whereupon  wee  concluded  to  appoint  with  externall 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


applications,  to  dilate  the  passages,  and  also  internall  medicines,  to  pro- 
mote labour.  But,  through  the  ill  position  of  her  body,  these  wayes 
nothing  at  all  availing,  I  was  earnestly  intreated  by  the  Doctor,  from  her 
husband,  with  severall  others  of  her  relations,  to  use  the  operation  of 
the  hand,  to  try,  if  possible,  the  birth  might  bee  forced.  Whereupon  I 
did  attempt  it. 

The  birth  was  comming  by  the  head.  I  endeavoured  to  turn  the 
birth,  and  would  willingly  have  laid  her  by  the  infant's  feet,  but  could 
not  possibly  effect  it,  for  that  I  could  not  slide  up  any  part  of  my  hand 
into  her  body,  and  there  was  not  room  to  force  the  head  backwards. 

Our  intention,  and  operations  failing,  I  was  earnestly  moved  againe 
to  make  use  of  instruments,  to  trie,  if,  by  them,  shee  might  bee  delivered. 

I  was  much  unwilling  to  use  these  wayes,  for  I  feared,  by  reason 
of  the  narrow  passage  of  her  body,  that  I  could  not  do  it.  But,  by  her 
husband,  and  friends,  and  the  Doctor,  with  severall  women,  I  was  much 
perswaded,  and  intreated,  by  them  all,  to  draw  the  child  with  instruments, 
and  shee  was  willing  to  submit,  in  hopes  to  be  delivered. 

But,  through  the  narrow  passage  of  her  body,  I  could  not  get  up 
my  hand  over  any  part  of  the  head,  to  fix  the  instrument,  nor,  in  any 
other  part  of  it,  to  make  a  breach. 

Pier  body  was  so  strait,  and  narrow,  that  I  could  not  put  up  my 
lingers  half  an  inch  on  the  side  of  the  child's  head ;  and  the  bones  of 
the  infant's  skull  (so  far  as  I  could  difficultly  passe)  were  so  hard,  that, 
for  want  of  roome  to  turn  my  hand,  I  could  not  enforce  the  instrument 
to  take  hold  in  any  part  of  the  child's  head,  whereby  I  might  draw  it 
forth,  with  the  rest  of  the  body.  I,  diverse  times,  altered  the  instru- 
ment, but  all  would  not  do  any  good. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

So  I  was  necessitated  to  desist,  without  any  hopes  of  delivery, 
not  knowing  which  way  to  relieve  her,  and  shee  died. 

Nigh  forty  five  yeares  I  have  practiced  in  the  midwife's  bed,  and, 
in  it,  I  humbly  thank  God  for  his  assistance,  and  help,  I  ever  delivered 
all  women,  to  whom  I  was  called,  this  worthy  good  gentlewoman  onely 

And  my  not  delivering  her  was  occasioned  by  the  straitness  of  the 
passages,  and  the  unusuall  ill  conformation  of  the  bones  near  adjoining 
to  the  womb,  with  the  hardnes  of  the  child's  skull.  For  her  back  bone 
was  much  inverted,  and  stood  so  pressed  inward  together  with  the  os  coc- 
cygis,  that  no  room  was  left  for  the  infant  to  passe  through  by  the 
strength,  and  endeavour  of  nature,  nor  to  admit  of  handv  operation,  for 
turning  the  child,  or  fixing  an  instrument.  And,  through  these  irre- 
moveable  obstacles,  tins  virtuous,  good  woman  perished.  Of  whom  I 
can  say  no  more,  but  that  shee  so  lived,  that  no  body  had  cause  to  speak 
any  evil  of  her. 

She  had  been  afflicted,  in  her  infancy,  with  the  rickets.  Shee  had 
very  great,  sweFd  ancle-bones,  she  went  wadling,  and  her  left  leg  was 
shorter  then  the  other,  and  the  middle  of  her  back  was  much  inverted, 
from  the  hips  to  the  shoulders.  Shee  was  of  a  very  low,  and  of  a  little 
small  stature. 

Sometimes  women,  after  long  travailing,  and  no  hopes  of  delivery 
left,  being  weake,  and  wearied  with  paine,  not  finding  any  comfort  by 
medicine,  or  the  midwife,  at  last  have  desired  help  by  the  extraction  of 
the  child  by  the  crochet,  the  which  they  have  chearfully,  and  well  en- 
dured.    Yet,  not  long  after  the  fetching  of  the  after-burden,  they  have 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


died;  perhaps  some,  through  flouding;    others,  through  weaknes,  or 
thinnes  of  blood,  or  putrefaction  in  the  womb. 

Yerba  Nicolai  Fontani. 

Quoedam  mulier,  ciini  sex  diebus  laborasset,  ciimq,  ab  auxiliis  ad- 
hibitis,  levamen  nullum  inveniret,  intrepido  animo  extractionem,  ad  vitam 
servandam,  adhiberi  voluit,  quod,  in  re  tarn  ardua,  non  negavere  medici. 
Quod,  vero,  mortua  sit,  ad  secundarum  extractionem  referendum  puto. 
Cum  enim,  ab  obstetrice  erant  extractee,  secuta  est  hsernorrhagia  resolutis 
viribus  animam  efflavit. 

Dubitabis  utriim  hoc  opus  tentandum  sit  in  muliere  debili.  Zacutus 
Lusitanus  inquit,  Inhumanum  est,  et  medico  Hippocratico  indignum, 
corpus  et  si  moribundum,  citra  remedia  relinquere,  ciim  multi,  citra  spem, 
mirabiliter  sanentur. 

This  very  case  happened  to  a  woman,  that  was  a  LachVs  daughter, 
after  six  dayes  labour. 

Her  Doctors  said,  That  shee  was  scorbuticall,  and  hydropicall, 
and  certified  mee,  That,  in  her  travaile,  shee  had  avoided  abundance  of 
water  from  the  womb,  and  that  shee  had  bled  much  at  the  nose,  and  that 
the  blood  was  very  thin.  All  which  I  took  for  evil  symptomes.  And, 
although  she  was  very  easily  delivered  by  the  crochet,  and  was  chearfull 
afterwards,  nevertheless,  after  the  fetching  of  the  after-burden,  it  is  sup- 
posed, that  shee  lost  blood,  and,  not  long  after, died. 

And,  although  this  flouding  was  not  violent,  nor  very  much  (of 
which  no  notice  was  given  to  mee  by  the  midwife,  or  other  women)  yet 
this  unexpected  accident  did  much  afflict  mee,  being  the  first,  and  last, 
that  happened  under  my  hands  August  the  17,  1667. 

0,  2 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Fontanus  yet  saith,  Quod  hsec  mortua  fuerit,  diuinse  providentise 
ascribendum.     And  so,  I  believe,  that  this  misfortune  might  happen. 

For  I  might  have  been  with  her  on  Wedensday  at  night,  whilest 
yet  shee  had  strength  of  spirit,  and  body,  if  that  her  messenger  had  per- 
formed Iris  duty,  in  comming  to  mee  not  far  from  my  house.  Tor  he 
came  to  Darby  Wedensday,  early  in  the  morning,  and,  seeing  that  I  was 
not  at  home,  without  any  delay,  hee  returned  to  Ins  master. 

The  next  day  a  second  careles  messenger  was  sent  forth,  with  a 
letter,  to  mee.  He  also  came  to  my  house  at  Darby,  but,  finding  mee 
not  at  home,  on  friday,  as  hee  returned,  hee  met  the  first  messenger,  who 
took  the  letter,  and  came  to  mee  on  friday  at  night.  And,  at  his  request, 
I  travailed  all  that  night,  and  was  sorely  afflicted  with  that  journey ;  and 
I  was  very  weak  by  it.  It  was  Saturday,  about  ten,  or  eleven  of  the 
clock,  before  I  came  to  the  house. 

The  child  was  great,  and  much  swel'd,  and  the  body  of  it  had  a 
stinking  cadaverous  sent  with  it ;  and  the  skin  was  much  flayed  off,  in 
larg  great  flakes,  in  severall  places  of  the  body.  And  I  beleeve,  That 
the  mother's  'body  was  corrupted  through  the  great  putrefaction  of  the 

All  Auctors  affirme,  That  the  after-birth  is  a  thing  contrary  to 
nature,  after  that  the  child  hath  left  the  womb,  which  must  bee  taken 
away,  and  sent  forth. 

For  the  quick  (which  is  the  womb)  will  thrust  forth  the  dead 
(which  is  the  after-birth)  or  else  the  dead  will  kill  the  quick. 

I  have  known  severall  evil  accidents,  which  have  followed  the  re- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


taining  of  the  after  -birth,  as,  floudings,  sicknesses,  and  faintings,  and, 
sometimes,  death. 

A  Husbandman's  wife  at  Littleore,  nigh  Darby,  was  much  dis- 
quieted with  the  midwife,  whilest  that  shee  searched  to  find  the  after- 
birth. It  was  not  found,  but  remained  in  her  body.  Shee  grew  a  little 
unruly,  and  altered  in  her  complexion,  which  turned  blackish.  And, 
although  it  came  away,  of  itself,  three,  or  foure  dayes  after  her  delivery, 
yet  shee  died,  about  the  yeare,  1636. 

Thus  died  a  good  woman  K.  G.  The  after-birth  could  not  bee 
found,  it  remained  three,  or  foure  dayes  in  her  body  before  it  came  away. 
Her  understanding  decayed,  and  her  countenance  much  altered  before 
her  death.  1642. 

I  was  desired  by  Mr of  Lockington  1654  to  visit  his 

wife,  that  was  delivered  of  a  son,  but  the  midwife  could  not  produce  the 
after-birth  ;  they  hoped,  that  it  would  come  away  of  it  self.  Shee  was 
delivered  three,  or  foure  dayes  before  my  comming.  The  same  day,  that 
I  came,  an  Honourable  Lady  had  sent  her  the  Countesse  of  Kent's 
powder,  the  winch  shee  took,  and  it  helped  her,  and  had  driven  forth  the 
after-burden  before  my  comming. 

I  found  her  altered  in  her  understanding,  and  her  hands  coldish ; 
I  wrapped  them  in  warm  napkins,  shee  would  let  them  lie  a  little  while 
in  the  napkins,  and  then,  forgetting  her  self,  shee  would  put  them  forth. 
Shee  knew  not  well  what  she  did.  H  er  pulse  was  weak,  and  slow  in 
motion.  My  opinion  was,  That  shee  would  hardly  live  untill  the  next 
morning.  Shee  died  about  two  of  the  clock  the  same  night,  through 
the  putrefaction,  that  the  secondine  had  caused  in  her  body. 

There  bee  some  midwives,  that  will  not  fetch  the  after-burden,  but 






Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

leave  the  expulsion  of  it  to  nature,  and  their  women  have  don  well,  and 
they  recovered  their  former  health. 

There  bee  other,  that,  by  their  too  much  searching,  and  endea- 
vouring to  get  it,  do  much  mischief  in  their  women's  bodies.  I  like  not 
either  of  their  wayes.  Let  the  after-burden  (if  conveniently  it  may)  bee 
produced  by  the  midwife.  Of  midwives,  if  any  of  them  deserve  praise, 
let  them  have  it,  that  doth  not  struggle  too  much  to  fetch  the  after -birth. 

Dr  Harvey's  learned  observations  about  the  birth  ought  to  bee 
esteemed,  for  their  worth,  and  goodnes.  The  oft  reading  of  them,  with 
a  due  observing  of  his  method,  will  bee  sufficient  to  make  a  midwife  to 
understand  her  calling. 

Hee  sheweth,  in  the  first  place,  what  to  observe,  and  how  to  deliver 
a  woman,  labouring  in  a  naturall  birth. 

And,  in  difficult  births,  and  abortive  births,  and  where  the  foetus 
is  dead,  hee  maketh  mention  how  to  perform  the  work  by  the  child's  feet. 
In  his  workes,  hee  wisheth  midwives,  not  to  bee  too  busy  at  the  first  ap- 
proaching of  labour,  by  striving  to  hasten,  or  promote  a  sudden,  or  quick 
birth ;  but  willeth  them,  patiently  to  wait  on  nature,  to  observe  her 
wayes,  and  not  to  disquiet  her,  for  that  it  is  the  sole,  and  onely  work  of 
nature.  And  this  also  was  the  opinion  of  that  worthy,  and  learned  Gen- 
tleman, Dr.  Georg  Ent,  since  Knighted. 

My  assistance  was  desired  by  Mrs.  Wolaston  in  Threed-needle 
street  in  London,  Anno  1657.  Shee  was  a  watchmaker's  wife  by  the 
Old  Exchang.  Erom  this  woman's  body  a  child  was  pulled  by  the  mid- 
wife. When  the  midwife  perceived  that  I  was  sent  for,  she  resolved  to 
hasten  her  work.     Shee  caused  severall  women  perforce  to  hold  her  by 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  middle,,  whilest  that  shee,  with  others,  pulled  the  child  by  the  limbs 
one  way,  and  the  women,  her  body,  the  other  way.'  Thus,  at  the  last, 
the  child,  by  violence,  was  drawn  from  her,  and  made  at  the  separation 
(as  shee  told  me)  a  report,  as  though  a  pistoll  had  been  discharged. 

A  little  while,  after  this  tugging,  and  strugling  usage,  I  came,  and 
found  this  woman  faint,  and  weak,  but  through  God's  mercy,  with  cor- 
dials shee  was  restored.  Her  midwife's  enforcements  had  made  such 
deep  remembrances  in  her  senses,  that  she  resolved  to  forsake  her ;  at 
which  time  shee  pitched  her  affections  on  me,  making  a  request  unto  me, 
if  that  shee  should  have  any  more  children,  that  I  would  be  pleased  to 
deliver  her. 

I  desired  her  to  spare  mee,  and  rather  to  engage  my  daughter,  the 
which  thing  shee  was  contented  to  do,  so  that,  in  her  extremity,  I  would 
not  be  far  from  her. 

Being  with  child  afterward,  and  my  daughter  with  her,  when  the 
time  of  her  delivery  was  come,  and  that  the  waters  issued,  a  sharp  throw 
accompanied  the  birth,  and  the  child  speedily  followed  the  waters. 

Then  she  began  to  griev,  and  complain  (not  imagining  that  the 
child  was  born)  and  to  say,  now  I  shall  fall  into  my  old  paines,  and  suf- 
ferings, and  perceive,  that  it  will  be  no  better  with  mee.  My  daughter, 
smiling,  asked  her  what  shee  meant,  and  whether  shee  had  two  children, 
for  one  was  born.  She  scarcely  beleeved  it,  untill  that  shee  heard  the 
child  to  cry.  The  after-birth  being  fetched,  and  shee  laid  in  her  bed, 
shee  took  my  daughter  by  the  hand,  and  said  to  her,  Surely  you  have  art 
in  these  fingers,  otherwise,  so  quickly,  and  happily  I  should  not  have 
been  delivered. 

I  know  none,  but  Dr  Harvey's  directions,  and  method,  the  which  I 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 



wish  all  midwives  to  observe,  and  follow,  and  oft  to  read  over,  and  over 
again ;  and,  in  so  doing,  they  will  better  observe,  understand,  and  re- 
member the  sayings,  and  doings  of  that  most  worthy,  good,  and  learned 
Dr,  whose  memory  onght  to  bee  had  for  ever  in  great  esteem  with  mid- 
wives,  and  child-bearing  women. 

Of  Unnaturall  Births. 

All  births,  comming  by  the  back,  belly,  buttock,  sides,  or  knees, 
or  with  head,  and  neck  distorted ;  and  all  unnaturall  births  whatsoever, 
with  all  difficult  births,  bee  ever  the  best,  easiest,  and  safest  laid  by  the 
feet  of  the  infant.  It  is  impossible  to  lay  any  unnatural  birth  by  the 
infant's  head. 

I  was  desired  by  my  friend  J.  T.  of  Osmaston,  near  Ashburn,  to 
come  unto  his  house,  and  to  deliver  a  woman,  that  sojourned  with  him. 
I  found  several  midwives  with  this  woman.  The  birth  of  the  child  came 
by  the  back,  and  by  the  back  they  hoped  to  pull  it  away  doubled.  They 
much  tormented  the  woman,  and  tired  themselves  with  fruitles  labours. 
With  some  trouble  I  turned  the  birth,  and  brought  it  away  by  the  feet, 
and  shee  recovered.     Anno  1647. 

In  my  first  practice,  when  necessity  enforced  me  to  turn  the  child, 
comming  in  an  unnaturall  birth,  I  followed  Pareus  his  directions.  But 
since  I  have  found  out  one  more  pleasing  to  my  desires,  and  I  permit  all 
midwives  to  follow  which  way  they  best  like. 

I  was  sent  for  to  Lockington  in  Leicester-shire  in  Anno  1660,  eight 
miles  from  Darby,  to  come  to  a  young  Gentlewoman,  labouring  of  her 
first  child.  The  arme  came  first  out.  I  placed  her  kneeling  on  a  bolster, 
and  put  her  head  down  to  a  pillow,  placed  in  a  woman's  lap,  sitting  afore 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


her  on  a  truckle-bed ;  and,  having  my  hand  anointed  with  Balsainum 
Hystericum,  and  kneeling  behind  her,  I  gently  slid  up  my  hand  into  her 
body,  {not  offering  to  reduce  the  arm)  I  presently  found  a  foot,  and  drew 
it  down,  holding  it  between  my  forefingers.  I  put  a  soft  fillet,  with  a 
sliding  noose,  over  the  heel,  above  the  ancle,  holding  it  very  gently.  T 
put  up  my  hand  againe  along  the  child's  thigh,  which  brought  mee  to 
the  other  foot,  over  which  also  I  put  a  fillet. 

Then,  raising  the  woman's  head  a  little  up,  I  drew,  by  the  fillets, 
both  legs  together,  and  took,  and  held  them  in  a  soft  linen  cloth.  And, 
when  I  had  leasurely  drawn  the  child  past  the  buttocks,  by  the  feet,  I 
then  raised  the  woman  somewhat  higher.  And  then,  holding  the  child 
in  a  soft,  linen  cloth  betweene  my  hands,  I  turned  the  child's  face  to  the 
back  of  the  woman.  After  this,  I  drew  the  child  to  the  shoulders. 
Then  I  slid  up  some  part  of  my  hand  toward  the  back  of  the  woman, 
and  put  my  middle  finger,  a  little  way,  into  the  child's  mouth,  and  placed 
my  other  two  fingers  on  each  side  of  the  child's  nose,  and  caused  an 
assisting  woman,  with  a  flat  hand,  to  make  a  gentle  pressure  on  the 
child's  head,  and  to  put  it  off  from  os  pubis,  that  is,  the  share-bone. 
Whilest  that  shee  made  this  pressure,  I  drew  leasurely  by  the  child's 
feet.  And  thus,  through  God's  great  mercy,  and  permittance,  I  quickly 
delivered  her  without  having  throwes.  Immediately,  after  the  child  was 
born,  I  fetched  the  after-birth.  And,  thanks  bee  given  to  the  Almighty, 
both  mother,  and  child  (her  daughter)  were  living  in  the  yeare  1669. 

I  was  sent  for  the  second  time  again  by  the  said  Gentlewoman, 
March  the  18  166|.  Shee  was  full  of  paine,  and  shee  had  lost 
much  blood.  Her  bed,  and  linens  about  her  were  very  wet  with  the  same. 

The  midwife  told  mee,  That  shee  had  felt  a  foot.  I  did  wonder  at 
her  sayings,  for  that  the  womb  seemed  not  to  bee  open,  and  it  was  very 


Observations  in  Midivifery,  by 

full,  after  the  usuall  situation.  But,  putting  my  hand  more  upward 
towards  her  back,  I  found  Fabricius  Hildanus  words  true,  that  the  womb 
doth  not  alwayes  keep  one  certain  site. 

For  the  mouth  of  the  womb  was  inverted,  and was  turned  upwards, 
somewhat  towards  the  back,  where  I  found  the  foot. 


As  shee  kneeled,  I  took  the  foot  between  my  forefingers,  and  held 
it  in  my  griped  hand.  Afterwards,  I  laid  my  thumb,  bended,  over  my 
fingers.     By  this  way  I  held  firmly  the  foot. 

I  durst  not  make  a  rumbling  with  my  hand  in  her  body,  for  that, 
at  that  time,  shee  was  apt  to  fioud.  I  used  no  band,  to  fasten  about  the 
heel,  neither  did  I  think  it  necessary  to  slide  up  again  my  hand  by  the 
child's  thigh,  to  seek  for  the  other  foot,  for  that  I  hoped,  with  lesse 
trouble  to  the  woman,  better  to  perform  the  work,  with  gentle  drawing 
by  the  foot  onely. 

I  drew  the  child  gently,  and  leasurely  by  this  foot,  untill  I  brought 
it  to  the  twist  of  the  body.  Then  I  found  the  other  foot  lying  upon  the 
belly  of  the  child,  the  which  I  brought  down  without  strugling,  and,  by 
the  feet,  I  laid  her,  after  the  way  set  forth  in  the  precedent  birth. 

After  that  the  after-birth  was  fetched  away,  shee  did  fioud- no  more. 
And  all  things  proceeded  well  with  her,  as  usually  they  do  with  other 

This  daughter  was  born  weak,  and  was  afterward  baptized,  and 
named  Matilda ;  the  other  daughter  was  named  Anna. 

The  Father  and  Mother,  with  the  rest  of  their  children,  with  these 
two  daughters,  were  living,  and  in  health  August  23.  Anno  1669. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Thus  have  I  set  forth  Parens  his  way  by  ribbands.  I  have  also 
shewed  midwives  my  way,  by  the  child's  foot ;  which  I  hold  more  facile 
and  easy,  and  quicker  to  bee  performed.  And  I  pray  God  to  direct  mid- 
wives  to  chuse  the  best,  and  easiest  wayes,  to  help  afflicted  women  in  tra- 
vaile,  and  to  save  sweet,  harmles  infants  lives. 

I  have  drawn  several  children  by  one  foot,  untill  I  could  perceive 
where  the  other  foot  rested ;  and  I  never  found  that  the  drawing  gently 
by  the  foot  did  hurt  the  child  in  the  delivery,  or  cause  afterwards  any 
deformity  or  lamenes  in  the  child  so  born. 

Some  learned  men,  in  their  treatises  concerning  the  delivery  of 
women,  have  concluded,  that  the  best  way,  in  all  unnatural  and  difficult 
births,  is  to  reduce  the  birth  to  the  head. 

But,  as  yet,  I  cannot  bee  of  their  opinions.  I  must  beg  their 
pardons,  for  not  pinning  my  belief  upon  their  writings.  Yet  I  will  not 
bee  stubborn,  in  adhering  unto  my  owne  practice.  I  shall  leave  myself 
and  sayings  to  the  judicious  practicers  in  midwifery,  to  bee  censured  as  it 
shall  please  them,  for  that  I  have  spoken,  and  written  experimentally, 
de  facto,  as  it  was  performed  by  mee  in  the  travailing  woman's  chamber, 
and  not  upon  imagined  thoughts,  or  phantasies  of  others,  writing  what 
they  never  performed. 

And,  although  these  writings  be  not  adorned,  and  beautified  with 
learned,  and  rhetorical!  expressions,  but  bee  homely,  and  plainly  set 
forth,  for  the  understanding  of  the  simple  capacities,  to  direct  country 
midwives,  yet  I  dare  assure  them,  that  they  will  hold  water,  and  be  suf- 
ficient to  put  by  all  reproaches,  that  ignorance  would  cloud  them  with, 
the  which  shall  be  made  manifest  by  examples. 

I  humbly  pray,  and  desire  all  practicers  in  midwifery,  that  know 
better  wayes,  to  bee  pleased  to  set  forth,  not  so  much  their  supposed 
— - 

Not  to  turn 

the  birth   to 

the  head 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

thoughts,  as  their  experimented  directions  of  wayes,  de  facto,  to  God's 
glory,  and  their  countrey's  good,  for  the  better  easing  of  women  in  their 
sufferings,  and  extremities,  and  for  the  saving  of  poor  children's  lives, 
giving  no  cause  why  they  should  bee  destroyed  in  their  mother's  wombs 
by  ignorant  practice. 

Let  it  bee  granted,  and  consented  by  all,  without  any  contradic- 
tion, that  midwives  could  reduce  all  unnaturall  births  to  the  head  (the 
which  I  imagine  they  can  never  performe)  yet  their  experience  will  then 
shew  them, 

That  every  child,  comming  by  the  head,  must  have  sharp,  ex- 
pulsive throwes,  and  some  convenient  time  to  bring  it  forth ;  the  which 
they  shall  not  need  as  it  commeth  by  the  feet. 

When  you  put  up  the  arme,  and  place  it  by  the  child's  side,  your 
hand  is  nigh  to  the  child's  feet,  and  you  may  bring  them  down  easily, 
without  torture. 

Tlie  putting  up  of  the  arme  is  oft  fruitles  (as  midwives  have  done) 
it  nothing  farthereth  the  birth,  for  that  it  hath  oft  returned  again,  and 
hath  been  more  grievous  to  the  woman,  then  to  deliver  her  by  the  feet. 

By  the  feet  a  woman  may  safely,  and  easily  bee  delivered.  And, 
in  severall  women,  where  the  child's  head  hath  been  too  great,  I  have 
turned  the  head  back,  and  have  produced  the  birth  by  the  feet,  of  which 
way  I  have  given  you  severall  examples. 

By  the  feet  of  the  child  a  woman  may  be  delivered,  although  shee 
have  no  labour,  or  throwes.  But,  when  it  commeth  by  the  head,  shee 
will  not  be  delivered  without  great  strivings,  and  sharp  throwes ;  and 
where  the  head  and  body  bee  too  great,  shee  will  not  bee  delivered,  nor 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Great  head. 

the  child  saved,  unles  the  birth  bee  turned  from  the  head  to  the  feet, 
and  afterward  to  bee,  by  the  feet,  produced. 

Grace  Beechcraft,  the  wife  of  Joseph,  in  St.  Peter's  parish  in 
Darby,  being  in  labour  severall  dayes,  and  having  suffered  much  sorrow, 
desired  my  help. 

The  child  came  with  the  head  first,  but  it  was  great.  Her  mid- 
wife, with  herself,  desired  my  assistance,  for  that  shee  could  not  deliver 

For  her  condition  Divines  were  consulted,  and  in  their  opinions 
they  were  divided.  Severall  women  frowned  upon  some  of  these  Divines, 
and,  upon  the  women's  dislikes,  they  turned  their  coats,  and  changed 
their  opinions. 

I  would  not  use  the  crochet,  for  feare  the  child  should  bee  alive, 
but  turned  away  the  head,  and  brought  it  forth  by  the  feet,  after  the 
way  afore  mentioned.  The  child  was  dead,  but  the  woman's  life  was 
saved,  and  shee  recovered  very  well  after  this  delivery. 

Few  yeares  after  shee  conceived  again,  whilest  that  I  lived  at 
London,  and,  at  this  time,  in  her  labour,  the  arme  came  first  forth.  The 
midwife  endeavoured,  without  any  good  successe,  to  put  it  up  again. 
Afterward,  three  midwives  came  to  consult,  and  to  shew  their  skill,  and 
each  of  them  tormented  the  poor  woman.  One  of  them  set  her  on  her 
head,  and,  afterwards,  rowed  much  in  her  body.  After  much  torturing, 
at  last,  it  was  concluded,  by  them,  that  it  must  be  pulled  from  her. 
Some  women  held  this  woman  by  force  about  the  middle,  whilest  that 
the  midwife  took  hold  of  the  arme,  and  so,  with  forcible,  and  violent 
strength,  the  child  was  pulled  forth  of  her  body.     The  arme,  by  their 

An  arm. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Mrs.   Oke- 



Mings,  was  half  pulled  off,  as  I  was  certified  by  a  good  woman,  that 
was  there  present. 

Shee  lived,  after  this  harsh  usage,  a  Week,  and  then  died  of  a 

Shee  was  buried  Sept.  24,  1657.  Might  not  this  woman  have 
been  better  laid  the  second  time  by  the  feet  ?  and  so  the  child  and  mo- 
ther might  have  lived.  Two  of  these  midwives  did  formerly  see  mee  lay 
these  births  by  the  feet.  But  midwives  will  follow  their  own  wayes, 
and  will  have  their  own  wills. 

Once  in  Darby,  and  never  afore,  or  since,  I  was  called  to  a  gentle- 
woman, whose  child  came  by  the  knees. 

This  child  was  very  great  in  head,  breast,  and  body.  The  mid- 
wife had  drawn  it  to  the  navell  before  my  comming,  and  farther  shee 
could  not  possibly  get  it.  I  was  then  sent  for,  with  some  trouble  I 
brought  it  to  the  neck,  where  it  stuck  hard  ;  yet,  at  last,  she  was  de- 
livered of  it.  , 

Through  the  greatnes  of  the  child,  and  the  straitnes  of  her  body, 
all  the  skin  of  the  hinder  part  of  the  head  was  stripped  off  from  the 
skull,  and  lay  upon  the  forehead  of  the  child,  when  it  was  born.  After 
that  I  had  well  viewed  the  greatnes  of  the  head,  I  found  that  the 
bones  thereof  were  firm  and  hard,  and  the  sutures  of  the  skull  of  the 
head  were  much  closed.  I  thought  it  then  wonderfull  that  the  head  did 
abide  on  the  shoulders,  and  that  it  was  not  separated  from  the  body,  as 
it  was  drawn  from  her  body  by  the  feet. 

After  my  usuall  way,  with  my  finger  in  the  child's  mouth,  my 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


work  was  finished,  and  shee  recovered,  Oct.  28,   1665.     Here  place 
Catherine  Davis. 

I  was  called  to  Elianor  Fletcher,  Feb.  the  ninth,  166f ,  dwelling 
in  St.  Michael's  parish  in  Darby.  Shee  travailed  of  a  daughter,  that 
came  by  the  feet,  and  her  midwife  had  drawn  it  to  the  neck,  where  it 
stuck,  and  shee  had  strugled  above  three  hours  to  get  it  forth. 

After  that  the  child  was  dead,  and  that  with  much  strugling,  the 
neck  was  broken  by  the  midwife,  shee  feared  that  the  woman  would  die 
under  her  hands,  and  then  shee  intreated  that  I  might  bee  sent  for. 
At  my  comming,  finding  the  child  dead,  and  the  neck  of  it  broken,  I 
put  my  finger  into  the  child's  mouth,  and  willed  the  midwife  to  draw  by 
the  feet,  whilest  that  I  guided  the  head,  in  hopes  to  bring  it  forth. 
Also  I  placed  her  in  various  postures  to  facilitate  the  birth.  But, 
through  the  greatnes  of  the  head,  I  could  do  no  good.  For  feare  the 
head  should  bee  separated  from  the  body,  I  was  compelled  to  use  the 
crochet,  fixing  it  on  the  upper  part  of  the  head.  By  it,  and  by  the 
child's  feet,  with  much  ado,  the  head  was  obtained  foil  of  water,  a  great 
part  thereof  was  shed  in  the  extraction  of  it. 

I  opened  the  head  afterward,  and  I  found  much  water  in  the  ven- 
tricles, as  also  flowing  under  Dura  mater.  This  watery  tumour  is 
called,  hydrocephalos.  I  have  seen  it  (after  birth)  in  severall  children. 
Their  heads  bee  great,  they  always  lie  on  their  backs.  If  they  bend 
forward,  they  be  in  danger  to  bee  stifled,  and  usually,  they  live  but  few 

After  that  this  woman  was  laid  in  bed,  the  midwife  said  that  shee 
fiouded.     I  steeped  hogs  dung  male,  and  strained  it  forth  without  pres- 

A  great 

head,  ful  of 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

sure,  and  put  some  sugar  and  nutmeg  to  it,  and  gave  it  her  to   drink, 
and  the  flux  was  stopt. 

After  her  delivery,  shee  oft  fainted,  but  still  was  recovered  by 
spirting  aqua  vitse  up  into  her  nostrils.  Shee  was  desirous  of  much 
drink.  I  gave  her  afterward,  the  white,  and  yolk  of  an  egge  mixed  in 
a  caudle,  with  nutmeg  and  sugar.  Shee  complained  of  great  pain  in  her 
back,  but  was  freed  of  it  by  laying  to  it  Emplastrum  Saponis.  Ever 
as  shee  stirred,  shee  fainted.  Therefore  I  kept  her  quiet  in  her  cloths  all 
the  first  night,  not  shifting  her  untill  the  next  day. 

This  woman,  after  the  birth  of  her  first  child,  had  the  meazels, 
within  three  or  foure  dayes  after  her  delivery. 

After  the  birth  of  her  second  child,  shee  oft  fainted,  and  was  sick, 
but,  with  giving  her  cordials,  shee  seemed  to  do  well. 

Whortle  or 

Some  three  dayes  after  her  delivery,  there  appeared  small  arisings 
like  hurtles,  all  over  her  body,  some  as  big  as  ordinary  pins  heads,  others 
as  great  at  fitches,  the  biggest  of  them  were  full  of  white  bearing.  Upon 
cold  taking  shee  would  bee  ill,  but,  wrapping  her  warme,  and  putting 
her  into  gentle  breathing  sweats,  shee  recovered  her  faintings. 

Her  husband  kept  an  alehouse,  and  having  but  few  roomes  to 
entertain  his  guests,  her  chamber  was  made  a  place  to  receive  them. 

Shee  seemed  to  recover,  and,  by  all,  shee  was  thought  to  bee  past 
danger  of  death,  being  chearful,  and  comfortable,  for  a  night  and  a  day. 
And,  when  danger  was  lest  thought  of,  the  ensuing  night  being  dis- 
quieted with  drinking  companions,  as  also  being  full  of  these  risings,  not 
like  the  small  pox,  or  the  meazels,  shee  died. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  cannot  imagine  what  way  these  two  latter  births  could  have  beene 
turned  from  the  feet  to  the  head,  and  I  beleeve  that  it  would  have 
proved  an  impossible  thing  to  deliver  them  afterward  by  the  head,  with- 
out the  crochet,  or  some  such  instrument. 

I  have  seen  the  same  hurtles,  little  swelhngs  in  men.  I  never 
knew  any  that  recovered,  that  had  them,  but  they  all  died,  as  well  men 
as  women. 

The  birth  by  the  buttocks. 

Some  women  have  their  children  comming  to  the  birth  by  the 
buttocks,  and  the  child,  as  it  were,  sitting  in  the  womb,  with  the  legs 
lying  on  the  belly  stretched  upwards. 

In  this  posture  the  child  may  be  born,  but  not  alwayes  easily. 

To  reduce  it  to  a  better  birth,  let  the  midwife  cause  the  travailing 
woman  to  kneele  on  a  bolster,  and,  having  put  her  head  down  into  a 
woman's  lap,  sitting  afore  her,  let  the  midwife  come  behind  her,  and, 
sliding  up  her  annointed  hand  into  her  body,  remove  with  the  flat  of  her 
hand,  the  child's  buttocks,  pressing  them  upwards,  into  the  hollownes  of 
her  body ;  and,  afterwards,  to  search  for  the  feet,  which  shee  may  easily 
find,  and  so  draw  forth  the  infant  by  the  feet,  as  hath  formerly  beev  di- 
rected. Thus  the  child  will  easily  bee  born,  and  the  woman  soon  delivered. 

But  where  the  midwife  can  have  convenient  space  of  place,  to  put 
up  her  hand  without  much  strugling  or  pain  to  the  mother,  there  shee 
needeth  not  to  put  back  the  child.  Without  any  trouble  shee  may  find 
the  child's  feet  lying  on  the  belly  of  the  child,  or  stretched  upwards. 
And,  although  this  birth  hath  proved  successful  to  some  women,  yet, 
through  ignorant  midwives,  it  has  happened  fatall  to  others,  and  the  wo- 
man, with  the  child,  hath  perished. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 








A  birth,  thus  comming  of  itself  by  the  buttocks,  requireth  a  larg, 
and  spacious  passage,  and,  if  the  child  bee  small,  and  little,  the  woman 
will  bee  the  sooner,  and  more  easier  delivered. 

One  Mrs.  Staynes,  a  chirurgion's  wife,  in  Darby,  was  delivered  of 
a  child,  in  such  a  posture,  in  the  yeare  1630,  the  child  comming  double, 
sitting  with  his  buttocks  in  the  womb.  Shee  did  very  well  after  her 
delivery,  and  her  child  lived. 

An  Inne-keeper's  wife  in  Stafford,  desired  my  daughter's  assist- 
ance for  her  delivery.  Her  labour  was  quick.  The  child  followed  the 
flowing  of  the  waters,  sitting  in  the  birth  with  the  buttocks.  The  birth 
was  so  speedy,  that  it  would  afford  no  time  to  turn  the  child.  The 
mother,  with  the  child,  lived,  and  did  very  well  after  this  birth. 

But  one  swallow,  or  two  doth  not  make  a  summer. 

I  shewed  this  birth  of  the  buttocks,  having  the  arms  stretched 
over  the  head,  to  a  midwife  in  Darby,  1632.  I  taught  her  how  to  alter 
this  posture,  and,  in  doing  it,  shee  had  drawn  down  the  armes.  Then 
I  was  again  necessitated  to  help  the  midwife.  Shee  was  quickly  delivered 
of  a  lusty,  spritefull  child,  by  the  feet. 

This  child  (a  daughter)  did  thrive,  and  became  great  in  half  a  yeare. 
The  nurse  did  suckle  it  at  foure  a  clock  in  the  morning.  But  having 
made  her  head  heavy,  by  taking  her  cups  of  Darby  ale  largly,  and  late 
at  night,  shee  overlaid  the  child,  and  it  was  found  dead  under  her  by  six 
that  morning. 

In  the  yeare  1646  this  midwife  was  called  to  one  Isabel  Carter, 
whose  child  came  by  the  buttocks,  but  shee  had  forgotten  what  I 
shewed  her,  with  all  the  directions. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


After  twelve  houres  suffering  under  two  midwives,  this  woman's 
friends  perswaded  her  to  send  for  mee,  to  assist,  and  help  her,  and  her 

After  I  had  seen  the  birth,  I  asked  the  midwife,  if  that,  formerly, 
I  had  not  shewed  her  this  birth,  and  the  way  how  to  help  it.  At  last 
shee  remembered  it,  and  the  birth  of  the  child  afore  named. 

The  child's  cods  were  pressed  forth,  and  did  hang  out  of  the  wo- 
man's body  above  an  inch  and  a  half,  very  fiamp  and  black,  and  the 
doubled  body  was  fixed  in  the  birth. 

The  woman  in  distres  desired  mee  to  help  her.  After  placing  her 
kneeling  on  a  bolster,  I  put  her  in  a  bending  posture  descending.  I 
removed  the  child  upwards  into  the  hollownes  of  her  body.  I  fetched 
the  feet  down,  and,  through  God's  great  mercy,  and  permission,  I 
quickly  delivered  the  woman  of  a  living  child,  by  the  feet.  This  wo- 
man, and  her  husband,  with  their  son,  were  living  in  Darby,  1660,  and 
hee  is  a  handsome  young  youth,  yet  living  in  Anno  1670.  The  black- 
nes  and  bruisings  of  the  cods  were  cured  with  oile  of  egges. 

At  Sutton  Cofield,  in  Warwickshire,  I  delivered  a  woman.  The 
birth  came  by  the  buttocks.  Her  midwife,  with  others,  had  made  foule, 
and  harsh  work  about  the  child's  breech,  by  tearing  the  child's  cods, 
and  in  laying  the  stones  bare,  and  with  the  woman,  by  tearing  her  body 
deeply  into  the  fundament. 

The  child  was  great,  and  the  skin  flayed  off  in  several!  places  of 
the  body.  It  smelt  unsavourily.  It  was  brought  away  with  my  hand, 
by  the  feet,  about  May,  ]651.  I  saw  her  again,  and  talked  with  her 
several!  times  after  this  her  harsh  usage,  and  delivery. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Dr.  Harvy  saith,  That  the  water  is  the  cause  of  the  delivery  of 
the  fsetus,  which  is  dead,  and  putrefied  iu  the  womb.  In  that,  by  its 
corruption  and  acrimony,  it  doth  extimulate  the  uterus  to  reliev  it  self. 

But,  if  the  waters  have  all  flowed,  and  the  womb  be  left  long  dry, 
the  labour  will  prove  difficult,  without  the  help  of  the  hand,  to  fetch 
the  feet,  or  the  use  of  the  crochet  to  draw  forth  the  head. 

Celsus  saith,  Quod  melius  sit  anceps  remedium  experiri,  quam 
nullum,  cum  multi  citra  spem  mirabiliter  sanentur. 

I  never  felt  a  more  carrion  stink  then  this  child's  body  had,  and 
yet  the  womb  was  not  infected  with  the  putrefaction  of  the  child,  and 
shee  recovered. 

January  14,  Anno  1646,  I  was  desired  by  a  good  Lady,  to  come 
to  Sudbury,  to  help  John  Primer's  wife,  that  was  in  extremity  of  labour, 
and  her  midwife  knew  not  how  to  deliver  her,  and  was  ignorant  in  what 
posture  the  child  offered  it  self.  The  child  came  by  the  breech,  but  her 
midwife  was  ignorant  of  it,  and  took  the  breech  for  the  head,  and  with 
her  halings,  and  struglings,  after  the  issuing  of  her  waters,  the  womb 
became  drie,  and  the  child  was  very  hardly  removed  again  into  her  body. 

I  placed  her  kneeling,  with  some  trouble,  I  put  back  the  buttocks, 
and  brought  down  the  feet.  And,  having  the  assistance  of  some  wo- 
men, gently  to  pull  by  the  feet,  whilest  I  guided  the  head,  I  delivered 

Immediately  after  that,  the  after-birth  was  fetched.  Without  any 
help  shee  did  arise,  and  went  from  that  place,  no  woman  offering  to 
hold  her,  and  went  up  a  pair  of  staires  into  her  chamber,  and  so  to  bed 
in  a  cold  roome,  where  was  no  fire.  Shee  made  no  signe  of  her  suffer- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Through  God's  permission  shee  soone  recovered.  But  some 
moneths  after,  there  happened  to  this  woman  an  impostumation  on  her 
navel,  which,  afterwards,  suppurated,  and,  after  the  breaking,  did  run 
much.  The  women  of  that  town  would  have  it,  that  this  corruption 
came  from  her  bowels,  and  that  her  guts  were  rotten,  and  that  they 
would  come  forth  at  her  navel.  But  this  infirmity  shee  also  recovered, 
and  lived  several  years  after.  Pareus  saith,  That  impostumes  in  the 
navel  bee  dangerous,  and  that  severall  perish  by  them. 

July  the  seventeenth,  Anno  1668,  Anne  Bonsall  of  Dunnington, 
in  Leicestershire,  had  an  ignorant  torturing  midwife.  Shee  came  to  her 
at  foure  a  clock  in  the  morning.  AIL  or  most  part  of  that  day  shee 
kept  this  travailing  woman  kneeling,  or  sitting  on  a  woman's  lap,  ever 
pulling  and  bruising  her  body,  oft  thrusting  up  her  hand  into  the  wo- 
man's body,  and  her  fingers  into  the  child's  fundament. 

I  had  formerly  rebuked  this  midwife  for  her  ignorant  doings,  and 
for  her  unadvised  cruelties.  Shee  was  a  peevish,  conceited,  ignorant 
midwife,  and  did  not  care  for  my  company.  Yet  I  was  sent  for,  and 
came  to  this  afflicted  woman  about  eight  a  clock  at  night.  I  found  this 
labouring  woman  kneeling,  and  her  midwife  working ;  and,  for  that 
shee  had  beene  much  afflicted,  and  was  weake,  and  her  body  swel'd, 
and  torn,  and  discoloured  by  her  haling,  and  pulling,  to  dilate  the  parts, 
I  caused  her  to  bee  laid  on  her  bed,  to  give  her  some  intermitting  ease, 
for  that  the  birth  seemed  to  bee  far  off.  I  gave  her  spiritus  Antidoti 
specificse  a  spoon  full.  But  such  had  beene  her  torturing  sufferings, 
that  it  did  not  refresh  her,  yet  it  caused  the  child  to  descend. 

The  next  morning  after  that,  I  placed  her  kneeling.  I  put  up 
my  finger,  and  it  passed  very  easily  into  a  hollow  place  of  the  child's 
body,  and  I  knew  not  what  to  think  of  it. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

But,  after  a  while,  I  perceived  that  it  was  the  child's  fundament. 
Then  I  slid  up  my  hand,  and  quickly  delivered  the  woman  by  the 
child's  feet,  observing  my  usual  way  of  turning  the  child's  face  to  the 
back  of  the  woman,  &c. 

Afterwards,  when  I  had  put  the  woman  into  a  warm  bed,  I  then 
viewed  the  body  of  the  female  infant,  and  I  perceived  that  this  midwife 
had  oft  thrust  her  finger  into  the  child's  fundament,  and,  with  it  bended 
shee  hoped  that  shee  might  have  drawn  the  body  forth. 

The  child's  fundament  was  much  bruised,  discoloured,  and  dilated, 
and,  by  her  ignorant  practice,  the  child  was  deprived  of  life. 

This  woman,  through  her  bruises,  swellings,  and  lacerations  in 
those  parts,  fell  into  a  loosness.  Some  foure  or  five  dayes  after  shee 
died.  And  her  ignorant,  torturing  midwife  lived  not  many  moneths 

Oft  midwives  bee  much  mistaken,  supposing  the  buttocks  to  bee 
the  child's  head. 

But,  if  they  would  consider,  that  the  buttocks  feele  soft,  and 
have  no  haires,  and  that  the  head  is  hard,  and  round  in  figure,  and  hath 
haire  on  it ;  then  they  might,  with  more  understanding,  better  know 
how  to  help  their  suffering  women,  distressed  in  this  ill  posture,  by  the 
child's  feet. 

In  Staffordshire,  nigh  to  Newcastle,  Anno  1656  my  daughter 
quickly  laid  this  birth,  according  to  the  foresaid  way,  by  the  feet,  where, 
otherwise,  three  old  midwives  had  let  the  woman  perish,  taking  the  but- 
tocks for  the  head. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


They  knew  not  how  to  help  her,  untill  shee  shewed  them  the 
way  of  delivery  of  this  birth,  by  the  child's  feet. 

Shee  laid  a  barber's  wife  in  Stafford  of  such  a  birth,  after  the 
same  way.     Shee,  and  her  child  bee  living. 

Shee  laid  the  same  birth  of  the  buttocks  by  the  feet  in  Shoe  lane, 
at  London,  where  an  ancient  midwife  knew  not  how  to  do  it.  I  was 
sent  for  to  this  woman,  and,  finding  the  birth  to  come  by  the  buttocks, 
I  sent  for  my  daughter,  and  willed  her  to  go  to  the  woman,  and  to  give 
mee  an  account  of  the  birth,  sitting  all  the  while  with  Mrs.  Joanna 

She  came  from  the  travailing  woman  to  us,  and  said,  that  the 
birth  came  by  the  buttocks,  the  which  the  old  midwife  took  for  the 
head.  Before  Mrs.  Mullins  the  wife  of  old  Mr.  Edward  Mullins,  the 
chirurgion,  I  asked  her,  what  hopes  shee  had  of  laying  this  woman. 
Shee  answered,  that  shee  doubted  not,  but  that,  through  God's  assist- 
ance, shee  could  quickly  deliver  her.  So  with  the  former  old  midwife's 
permission,  the  work  was  soon  performed  by  the  feet. 

In  Middlesex  anno  1658  my  daughter,  with  my  assistance,  de- 
livered Sir  Tenebs  Evanks  Lady  of  a  living  daughter. 

All  the  morning  my  daughter  was  much  troubled,  and  told  mee, 
That  shee  feared  that  the  birth  would  come  by  the  buttocks,  and  that 
shee  foresaw  the  same  by  the  falling  down  of  her  belly. 

About  seven  a  clock  that  night  labour  approached.  At  my 
daughter's  request,  unknown  to  the  Lady,  I  crept  into  the  chamber 
upon  my  hands  and  knees,  and  returned,  and  it  was  not  perceived  by 
the  Lady.     My  daughter  followed  mee,  and  I,  being  deceived,  through 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

hast  to  go  away,  said  that  it  was  the  head,  but  shee  affirmed  the  con- 
trary, however,  if  it  should  prove  the  buttocks,  that  shee  knew  how  to 
deliver  her. 

Her  husband's  greatness,  and  oliverian  power,  with  some  rash 
expressions,  that  hee  uttered,  flowing  too  unhandsomely  from  his  mouth, 
dismayed  my  daughter.  Shee  could  not  be  quieted,  untill  I  crept  pri- 
vately again  the  second  time  into  the  chamber,  and  then  I  found  her 
words  true. 

I  willed  her  to  bring  down  a  foot,  the  which  shee  soon  did.  But 
being  much  disquieted  with  feare  of  ensuing  danger,  shee  prayed  mee  to 
carry  on  the  rest  of  the  work. 

The  Lady  was  safely  laid  of  a  living  daughter  by  the  feet.  The 
child  cried  strongly,  and  loudly,  and  was  spriteful,  and  very  lively. 

Had  this  birth  come  by  the  head,  I  beleev,  that  it  would  have 
proved  difficult,  and  more  troublesome  to  the  Lady,  not  without  some 
disgracefull  reflection  upon  mee,  and  my  daughter. 

For  the  child's  head,  with  the  breast,  was  great.  It  would  have 
slid  very  difficultly  through  the  bones,  and  so  the  midwife  could  not 
have  helped  more,  then  by  annointing  the  body,  and  with  patience, 
waiting,  and  expecting,  when  that  nature's  force,  with  the  throwes, 
would  have  driven  forth  the  child. 

But,  when  the  birth  commeth  by  the  feet,  the  woman  may  bee  laid 
without  throwes,  as  hath  formerly  been  said,  and  shewed  by  severall 

For  six.  dayes  this  child  was  not  suffered  to  suck,  and,  in  the 
meane   time,    was    unfittingly  nourished.     The  seventh  day   (and  not 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


afore)  a  nurse  endeavoured  to  give  it  the  breast,  but  the  child  had  for- 
gotten how  to  suck,  and  then  it  began  to  bee  sick.  The  eight  day  the 
red  gumme  appeared,  and,  for  want  of  better  care,  died  about  the  tenth 

I  will  never  think  otherwise,  but  that,  in  this  Knight's  thoughts, 
as  well  as  in  his  actions,  and  wayes,  errours,  defects,  and  mistakes 
might  apparently  bee  seen. 

It  is  not  impossible  to  find,  in  London,  or  Westminster,  honest 
women,  and  healthfull  nurses,  free  from  unhandsome  diseases.  Had  the 
child  had  such  a  nurse,  that,  in- due  time,  might  have  given  it  the  breast, 
I  beleeve  that  the  child  might  long  have  lived.  For  there  was  no  pro- 
bable signe  indicating  the  child's  death,  or  any  weatnes  perceived  in  it, 
untill  the  two  last  dayes. 

When  I  moved  him  earnestly  to  get  a  nurse,  hee  replied,  and 
said,  That  hee  scorned,  that  his  child  should  suck  any  pocky  nurse  in, 
or  about  London.  Hee  well  knew  many  unworthy  women  in  that,  and 
other  places.     And  was  hee  free  of  the  Lues  venerea  when  hee  died? 

Hee  loved  variety  of  places,  and  several!  pastures.  Hee  reported 
in  Darby  (to  disgrace  me)  that  I  would  not  come  near  to  help  his  wife, 
before  that  hee  had  given  mee  an  hundred  pieces.  Hee  was  never  so 
worthy,  as  to  give,  or  offer  mee  the  worth  of  a  peny.  And,  if  ever  it 
bee  found  out,  what  his  true  name  was,  and  where  hee  lived,  and  died,  let 
this  postscript  affirme,  That  hee  would  not  let  mee  see  his  wife  after  her 
delivery.  And,  although  I  came  severall  times,  yet  hee  did  not  afford 
mee  so  much  civility  as  to  offer  mee  a  cap  of  ale,  or  beer,  or  that  ever  hee 
did  give  mee  the  wOrth  of  a  brasse  farthing  for  my  oft  visiting  her  afore 
her  delivery ;  or  for  my  being  with  her  in  her  labour,  and  helping  of 
her;  or  for  my  severall  visits  after  her  delivery. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  birth  by  the  knees. 

Mrs.  Jane  Molineux,  the  wife  of  Rutland  Molineux,  Esq.,  dwelling 
in  Nottinghain-shire,  at  Woodcoats,  came  to  Darby,  and  requested  that 
I  would  bee  pleased  to  deliver  her,  and  shee  hoped,  through  God's  mercy, 
by  my  assistance,  to  have  a  live  child  born  into  the  world.  I  received 
her  into  my  house,  where  shee  told  mee  of  her  sorrowfull  sufferings,  and 

That  first  shee  had  an  abortion,  a  yeare  after  shee  conceived  again, 
and,  going  out  her  full  time,  and  falling  into  travaile,  the  child's  knees 
came  first.  Her  midwife  would  bring  down  the  armes,  that  were  over 
the  child's  head,  and  did  break  an  arme  in  the  drawing  of  it.  Afterward 
shee  suffered  the  womb  to  close  about  the  child's  neck.  So  the  child 
continued  hanging  by  the  neck  in  the  womb,  and  sprauling  with  the  feet, 
till  it  was  dead.  And,  although  a  Dr.  of  Physick  was  with  her,  and 
held  her  all  the  time  of  her  travaile  by  the  hand,  yet  the  infant's  life  was 
not  saved. 

Thus,  at  severall  times,  and  in  severall  births  by  the  knees, 
through  severall  midwives,  shee  lost  also  the  second,  and  the  third,  and, 
afterward,  the  fourth  child,  all  hanged  by  the  neck  of  the  womb,  and  so 
died  in  the  birth,  not  one  of  them  being  born  alive ;  all  of  them  being 
goodly  children,  and  comming  at  their  full  time  of  birth  by  the  knees. 

Shee  continued  foure  weeks,  and  odde  dayes,  in  my  house,  before 
shee  travailed.  During  which  time,  every  morning,  and  evening,  shee 
annointed  herself  before  a  warm  fire,  with  Balsamum  Hystericum.  And 
for  three  weeks  together,  I  gave  her,  every  morning,  a  spoonfull,  or  two 
of  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  in  three  spoonefulls  of  posset  drink,  in  which 
pelitary  of  the  wall  was  steeped,  to  drink. 

February  the  fourteenth,  shee  suffered  some  grumbling  paines. 
The  day  following  (February  the  fifteenth,  being  shrove-munday)  pangs 
of  labour  came  on  her.  And,  although  shee  had  a  naturall  stoole  be- 
fore her  travaile,  yet  I  gave  her  a  clyster  of  some  six  ounces  of  posset 
drink,  boiled  with  seeds,  with  which  was  mixed  an  ounce  of  venice  tur- 
pentine, first  washed  with  plantane  water,  and  dissolved  with  the  yolk  of 
an  egge,  to  which  was  added  one  spoonfull  of  sugar,  and  some  oile  of 
almonds.     But  shee  kept  it  not  long,  for  the  birth  did  much  approach. 

I  took  great  care  not  to  break  the  waters,  and  hoped,  that  the 
head  had  come  first.  But,  when  the  waters  issued,  T  perceived  that  the 
birth  came  by  the  knees  doubled,  after  the  way  of  her  old  accustomed 
births.  Yet  I  was  not  disquieted  with  the  thoughts  of  her  former 
losses,  but  I  trusted  on  God's  mercy,  and  in  his  usuall  blessings. 

I  drew  the  child  gently,  and  leasurely  by  the  feet,  a  little  past 
the  buttocks,  unto  the  navell.  I  then  turned  the  face  of  the  child  to 
the  back  of  the  mother,  holding  the  infant's  body  in  a  soft,  linen  cloth, 
between  my  hands,  and  so  brought  it  to  the  shoulders.  And,  after  I 
had  placed  some  part  of  my  hand  over  the  child's  face,  and  had  put  my 
middle  finger  a  little  way  into  the  child's  mouth,  to  presse  the  chin  down 
into  the  throat,  I  then  caused  a  woman  to  lay  a  flat  hand  on  the  child's 
head,  and  gave  the  legs  into  my  daughter's  hands,  willing  her  gently  to 
draw  by  them,  and  the  woman,  with  her  flat  hand,  at  that  instant  to 
presse  her  belly  from  the  os  pubis,  and  the  child's  head,  to  the  birth 
place,  whilest  that  I  kept  the  womb  from  closing  about  the  child's  neck, 
with  my  hand.  Thus  were  our  desires,  through  God's  mercy,  quickly 
obtained,  and  shee  soon  delivered  of  a  living  daughter. 

After  her  delivery,  as  shee  lay  on  her  back  upon  the  pallet- 
bed,  I  could  not   well   come    to  her  body   to  fetch  the  after-burden. 

t  2  " 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 




Wherefore    I    caused    her   to    turn,    and   to    kneele,    then    I    easily 
fetched  it. 

Thus,  I  thank  God,  with  this  threefold  united  force,  shee  was 
speedily  delivered,  and  her  daughter  was  baptized,-  and  named  Mary. 

Shee  had  no  throwes  to  bring  the  child  into  the  world,  nor  had 
shee  any  pain,  or  trouble  to  complain  of,  more  than  usuall,  to  bring 
forth  the  infant,  although  the  child  was  larg,  and  big  in  body. 

Over  much  joy,  the  day  following,  for  that  shee  had  a  living  child, 
with  her  tender  care  premised  for  the  preserving  of  the  same,  ever  peep- 
ing, and  hearkening  how  it  did,  put  her  into  some  disquiets  of  the 
mother,  with  paines  in  her  flank. 

But  shee  was  soon  eased  of  them,  by  having  a  plaister  of  Galba- 
num  laid  to  her  navell,  and  Emplastrum  Saponis  to  her  flank;  as  also, 
with  giving  her  a  lump  of  LucateUVs  balsam,  wrapped  in  a  wafer,  to 
swallow,  and,  upon  that,  a  good  spoonfull  of  syrup  of  maidenhaire,  with 
as  much  oile  of  sweet  almonds,  and  mixed  with  four  spoonfulls  of  thin 
broth,  with  these  applications,  and  medicine  shee  was  eased,  and  cured 
from  all  the  dangers  of  her  child-bed.  Shee  returned  with  her  daughter 
to  her  house,  in  April  twenty  seventh,  1661. 

I  laid  her  the  second  time  of  a  living  daughter  Apr.  24,  1665. 
This  birth  came  by  the  head,  and  shee  named  her  Dorothy. 

After  the  death  of  Mr.  Rutland  Molineux,  Mrs.  Jane  Molineux 
was  married  to  Mr.  Thomas  Wildbore,  and,  by  him,  had  a  son  July  the 
twentieth  day  1667.  Shee  named  him  Thomas.  This  child  scrabled 
with  his  fingers  at  the  mouth  of  the  womb,  before  it  opened.  But,  be- 
fore the  flowing  of  the  waters,  it  turned,  and  pitched  on  the  head,  when 
the  moistures  issued ;  and  shee  was  soon,  afterward,  delivered. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Mrs.  Jane  Wildbore  came  again  the  fourth  time  November  the 
tenth  1669  to  Darby  for  her  delivery.  Shee  sent  a  messenger  to  mee 
to  Newbrough,  where  I  was  engaged  to  a  worthy  good  Lady,  who  per- 
mitted mee  the  favour  to  go,  and  speak  with  her,  and  so,  if  shee  had 
not  present  need,  to  return  again. 

I  advised  her  the  best  I  could,  and  stayed  with  her  foure  dayes. 
I  desired  her,  in  my  absence,  to  have  a  midwife  with  her,  but  not  to 
suffer  the  midwife  to  meddle  with  her,  but  to  keep  her  bed ;  and,  if  the 
child  came  of  itself,  to  cause  the  midwife  to  take  it  from  her. 

I  desired  her,  when  shee  had  any  signes  of  labour,  immediately  to 
send  for  mee.  Shee  promised,  for  that  occasion,  to  have  a  good  horse 
ready  in  the  stable,  and  to  send  such  a  messenger  as  did  well  know  the 
way  over  the  Forrest  ofNeedwood.  And  shee  said,  that  shee  should  go 
a  fortnight  longer.  But  shee  kept  not  her  promise  either  in  horse 
or  man. 

Three  dayes  after  (Saturday  Nov.  the  twenty  sixt  in  the  night) 
shee  fell  into  labour.  Her  messenger  came  to  mee  on  Sunday  morning, 
about  half  an  houre  past  nine.  My  good  Lady  gave  mee  leave  to  go 
unto  her.  I  speedily  went  with  him.  Hee  was  ignorant  of  the  way. 
In  the  forrest  wee  were  both  lost,  and  separated.  I  wandered  alone 
nigh  two  houres,  and  came  nigh  again  to  Newbrough,  and  was  necessi- 
tated to  procure  a  guide.  Afterward,  nigh  to  the  forrest-  gate,  her 
messenger,  and  I  did  casually  meet  againe.  Her  messenger's  horse 
tired  after  an  houre's  riding  together.     1  was  forced  to  go  alone. 

I  put  on,  and  rid  very  fast  •  About  three  miles  and  an  half  I  espied 
two  men,  riding,  with  speed,  from  Darby.  They  proved  to  bee  her  mes- 
sengers, and,  from  her,  they  intreated  mee  to  make  hast,  for  that  shee 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


was  in  great  extremity.  I  willed  them  to  put  on,  and  so,  with  them,  I 
came  a  galloping  pace  to  Darby.  So  soon  as  these  messengers  were 
horsed,  and  gone,  this  midwife  would  not  stay  my  coming ;  but  got  her 
out  of  her  bed,  and,  having  put  her  to  her  knees,  shee  laid  her  coats  on 
her  hips,  and  shee  never  covered  her  birth-place,  buttocks,  or  her 
thighes ;  and,  with  her  rude,  foolish  doings,  starved  her  body  with  cold, 
which  made  the  delivery  most  difficult.  And  shee  hoped  to  have  gotten 
much  credit  by  delivering  before  I  came. 

The  birth  was  by  the  feet.  Shee  took  hold  by  a  foot,  and  vio- 
lently endeavoured  to  pull  away  the  infant  by  the  foot. 

Mrs.  Wildbore,  feeling  her  harsh  doings,  wished  her  to  desist, 
and  told  her,  That  I  willed  that  the  midwife  should  not  meddle  with 
her,  untill  that  I  should  come  in  unto  her. 

And  shee  assured  her,  that  shee  could  better  endure  her  paines, 
than  her  tortures,  that  shee  put  her  to. 

The  women  intreated  the  midwife  to  desist,  and  assured  her  that 
it  was  my  command,  That  no  midwife  should  trouble  her  at  all  in  my 
absence,  more  than  to  receive  the  child,  if  that  it  came  naturally  of 

Yet,  for  all  their  sayings  and  perswasions,  this  self-conceited, 
unworthy,  ignorant  midwife  (for  whom  I  had  done  several!  kindnesses) 
would  not  desist,  but,  by  the  feet,  with  violence,  drew  the  child  unto 
the  navell,  where  it  stuck,  and  farther  shee  could  no  wayes  get  it  for  a 
long  time. 

And,  had  not  one  of  the  company  given  the  midwife  good  advice, 
shee  might  well  have  broken  the  child's  neck,  and  separated  the  child's 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


head  from  the  infant's  shoulders,  by  keeping  the  child's  face  towards  the 
woman's  navell,  and  belly. 

The  midwife  continued  this  forcible  pulling  the  infant,  by  the 
feet,  three  quarters  of  an  houre,  or  longer.  And,  finding  her  strength 
not  sufficient  to  remove  it,  shee  desired  another  woman  to  help  her  to 
pull  it  by  one  leg,  whilest  that  shee  haled  by  the  other.  But  both  their 
strengths  could  not  remove  it,  to  bring  it  forwards. 

At  length,  this  assisting  woman  desisted,  and  shee  told  the  mid- 
wife, that  shee  durst  pull  no  more,  for  that  shee  feared  the  child  would 
bee  torne  in  pieces  by  them. 

Mrs.  Wildbore  intreated  the  midwife  to  desist,  for  that  shee  was 
not  able  to  endure  her  violent  struglings,  saying,  would  shee  teare  her, 
and  her  child  to  pieces  ?  And  this  midwife's  halings  were  continued 
with  such  violence,  that  the  sweat  ran  down  her  face  in  great  drops. 

Nevertheles  the  midwife  continued  on  her  violent  struglings,  and, 
being  a  strong  woman,  at  last,  perforce,  shee  pulled  the  child  away,  and 
laid  it  carelesly  aside,  supposing  the  child  (as  shee  had  cause)  to  bee 

But,  by  others,  the  child  was  found  to  bee  alive,  and,  by  good 
hap,  the  infant  had  one  arme  stretched  out  over  its  head,  which  preser- 
ved its  life,  and  the  not  separating  the  head  from  the  body. 

The  child  was  not  quite  swadled,  when  I  came  into  the  chamber. 
Mrs.  Wildbore  told  mee  how  shee  had  been  used  by  the  midwife ;  that 
shee  had  made  her  very  sore,  and,  for  any  thing  shee  knew  to  the  con- 
trary, had  torn  her.  And  that  shee  much  wondered,  that  her  child's 
head  was  not  pulled  off,  and  left  behind,  remaining  in  her  body. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  weak  child  was  forthwith  baptized,  and  named  Baptista. 
After  this,  I  went  to  my  house,  and  said  little  to  the  mother,  or  mid- 
wife that  night. 

But  the  next  morning  I  told  Mrs.  Wildbore,  that  shee  had 
suffered  through  her  own  follies. 

Shee  said,  that  shee  could  not  help  it,  for  the  midwife  would  do  it, 
contrary  to  her  desire. 

To  the  midwife  I  said,  that  her  harsh,  and  unhandsome  usage  of 
this  woman,  and  her  child,  would  empair  her  credit.  And  that  her 
ignorance  had  wronged  both  mother,  and  child ;  and  shewed  her  how 
shee  had  made  deep  prints  all  about  the  breast,  shoulders,  and  neck  of 
the  child,  by  the  scratchings  with  her  nailes,  and  that  it  was  a  wonder 
that  the  child  was  born  alive  with  such  usage,  and  that  it  would  bee  a 
greater,  if  that  it  lived. 

Had  Mrs  Wildbore  observed  my  command,  and  this  midwife 
desisted  from  her  ignorant  doings,  when  shee  was  desired  to  forbeare,  I 
then  might  have  been  there  soon  enough  to  have  delivered  her,  as  may 
bee  observed  in  these  writings. 

I  have  come  to  several!  women,  after  a  whole  daye's  labour,  or 
more  dayes,  and  have  found  some  of  the  members  of  the  child  to  have 
been  long  in  the  world,  yet  I  have  safely  delivered  the  woman.  And, 
where  the  midwife  had  not  been  too  busy,  there  I  have  preserved  the 
child,  with  the  Mother. 

A  week,  or  more,  after  her  delivery,  shee  had  a  swelling,  with  a 
numnes  in  her  right  leg,  from  her  gartering  place,  to  her  ankle.  And 
the  child  was  swel'd  in  the  right  arme,  and  was  weake  in  the  wrist  ■ 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


and    could    not    hold    up    thejiand,    but    that    it    hung    flagging 

I  came  to  them  again  the  third  time,  and,  T  thank  God,  I  cured 
them  of  their  infirmities,  staying  with  them  five  dayes. 

The  child  could  not  suck  at  the  first,  but  made  pityfull  faces, 
when  it  endeavoured  to  suck,  and  cried  weakly.  I  eased  it,  by  giving  it 
oile  of  sweet  almonds  fresh  drawn,  and  mixed  with  syrup  of  maiden- 

To  the  child's  back  I  applied  emplastrum  de  smegmate  spread 
thin  on  leather. 

After  this  the  child  did  suck  much  better,  yet  weakly.  It  was 
found,  afterward,  to  bee  tongue  tied.  When  it  was  cut,  it  drew  the 
breast  much  better,  and  gathered  some  small  strength. 

The  child  after  three  weeks,  had  a  dayly  purging,  issuing  from  the 
nose,  of  bloud  with  corruption.  It  cried  much.  It  may  long  live,  but 
I  feare  the  contrary. 

This  midwife  was  but  of  few  years  practice,  and,  being  told,  after- 
ward, of  her  doings  by  Mrs.  Wildbore,  shee  foolishly  replied,  That  if 
shee  and  the  child  had  been  torn  in  pieces,  they  two  had  not  been  the 
first,  that  had  been  so  used.     Her  answer  shewed  her  disposition. 

I  leave  her  to  the  censure  of  all  women.  But  this  midwife  shall 
never  see  more  of  my  practice,  or  bee  in  place,  where  I  have  ought  to  do. 

But  Mrs.  Wildbore's  opinion,  and  saying  of  this  midwife,  with 
foure  others,  that  shee  had  made  use  of,  with  the  losse  of  her  children 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

By  both 

hands  and 


That  they  were  all  ignorant  creatures,  and  that  they  knew  not 
what  to  do  in  any  difficult,  and  unnaturall  birth,  more  than  to  hale  and 
pull  the  woman's  body,  and  the  child  by  the  limbs.  And  that  shee, 
with  her  children,  through  their  ignorances,  had  wofolly,  and  sorowfully 

Shee  her  self  went  well  from  Darby,  carrying  her  weak  child 
with  her. 

God  blesse  them  both,  and,  for  some  causes,  I  pray,  that  I  may 
never  bee  troubled  more  with  her,  or,  rather,  with  her  husband,  fitly 
named  Wildbore.     Finis. 

And  this  is  a  true  relation  of  this  savage  narration. 

In  November  1671  I  heard,  by  a  messenger,  that  was  at  her 
home,  that  shee  is  well,  and  that  her  child  hath  perfectly  recovered  her 
infirmities,  and  that  it  is  hearty,  and  health  full. 

The  birth  comming  by  both  hands  and  feet. 

Sometimes  the  child  thrusts  forth  both  hands  and  feet  together. 

This  birth  happened  to  one  goodwife  Picraft  in  Darby,  1660. 
After  that  the  midwife  had  tortured  her  severall  nights  and  dayes,  at 
the  last  I  was  sent  for.  And  the  midwife  said  that  shee  had  done  what 
shee  could  for  keeping  up  the  hands  and  feet.  I  wished  her  more  un- 
derstanding in  her  practice,  and,  before  her,  I  laid  this  woman,  by 
joining  both  feet  together,  and  then  drawing  leasurely  by  them,  (and 
the  hands  returned  to  the  sides)  observing  the  order,  and  way  by  the 
birth  of  the  feet,  &c. 

Shee  was  quickly  delivered  without  any  torture,  or  violence,  in  a 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


short  time.     As  the  legs  came  downwards :  so  the  shoulders  with  the 
armes,  went  upwards,  and  reduced  themselves.     In  May  1660. 

The  same  midwife  was  sent  for  to  Spoondon,  about  two  yeares 
after  this  delivery,  by  Edward  Holerentius  his  wife.  The  birth  came  by 
one  hand,  and  one  foot. 

This  midwife,  at  her  comming,  vaunted  much  of  her  fenowledg, 
and  abilities  in  the  practice  of  midwifery,  and  what  shee  could  do.  But 
her  words  proved  windy,  and  her  deeds,  nothing  worth. 

After  her  much  afflicting  the  woman,  her  friends  were  displeased 
with  her  ignorance,  and  they  sent  for  mee.  I  came  to  her,  and,  as  afore 
in  PicrafVs  wife,  with  little  ado,  I  laid  this  poore  woman,  and  I  suffered 
this  foolish  prating  midwife  to  stand  by  mee  the  same  time,  and  to  see 
what  way  I  did  take  the  second  time. 

This  woman  conceived  again  about  two  yeares  after  this  time.  I 
was  desired  again  by  her  midwife,  and  neighbours,  with  her  consent  to 
come  unto  her. 

Her  midwife,  and  friends  assured  mee,  that,  long  since,  her  waters 
had  issued,  yet  no  child  followed. 

But  it  proved  otherwise.  That  night  I  provoked  a  stoole  by  a 
suppositer,  and  willed  her  to  rest  quiet,  and  to  keep  her  self  warm,  and 
to  endeavour  to  sleep. 

In  the  morning  I  returned  home  to  my  house,  and  sent  her  a 
clyster,  which  freed  the  passages  of  excrements.  And,  not  long  after 
the  discharg  of  it,  paines,  with  throwes,  came  upon  her.  Then  the 
waters  gathered,  and  flowed,  and  the  child  followed  the  waters,  putting  her 
to  no  more  affliction,  than  such,  as  usually  accompany  the  woman's  bed. 
_^  _ 

One  hand 
and  foot. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  was  again  with  her  at  the  tliird  birth,  and  then  shee  Was  easily 
delivered  by  the  child's  head. 


birth  un- 
by  the  feet. 

The  birth  by  the  feet  may  prove  unfortunate,  if  not  prudently 

There  was  an  ancient  midwife,  that  I  respected,  and  wished  well. 
For  several!  causes,  I  did  her  all  the  courtesies  that  I  could.  I  shewed 
her  much,  and  helped  her  several!  times,  yet  could  I  never  prevaile  with 
her  to  leave  her  haling,  and  stretching  those  tender  parts.  But  shee 
would  ever  put  on  too  forcibly,  not  much  regarding  the  woman,  or 
child,  to  finish  her  work. 

Shee  was  midwife  to  a  good  Gentlewoman,  about  1652.  The 
child  came  by  the  feet.  For  want  of  judgment,  how  to  order  the  birth, 
shee  drew  forcibly  by  the  feet.  So  shee  brake  the  child's  neck  in  the 
birth,  and  pulled  away  the  body,  but  left  the  head  remaining  in  the 
woman's  body,  which,  afterwards,  came  away.  And  this  good  woman 
recovered,  and  is  now  living  Anno  1671. 

But  her  poor,  old  midwife,  that  had  oft,  formerly,  laid  her  of 
severall  children,  was  sorely  dismayed  with  this  sad  unexpected  accident, 
which  never  had  afore  happened  under  her  hands.  So  that  shee  was 
alwayes  condoling  her  misfortune,  and  never  again  was  chearfull  to  reco- 
ver her  spirits.  Her  frequent  sad  remembrance  of  it,  in  few  succedent 
moneths,  finished  her  dayes. 

The  same  accident  happened  to  a  poor,  wandring  woman  at 
Bisly.  I  was  sent  to  her  by  the  Lady  Willughby,  dwelling  at  that 
place.     The  child's  head  was  not  easily  fetcht  forth. 

This    wandering    woman    lived    severall    yeares  after.     But  her 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


companion,  and  wandering  midwife  hasted  away,  unwilling  to  own  her 
work,  and  I  could  never  heare  what  became  of  her. 

The  same  misfortune  happened  in  Wocestershire  to  a  good 
woman  Apr.  12,  1651. 

I  shall  use  Pareus  his  words,  and  leave  you  his  directions,  how  to 
help  this  affliction. 

But  if,  by  any  meanes,  it  happeneth,  and  that  the  child's  head 
onely  remaineth  behind  in  the  womb,  which  I  have  sometimes  (against 
my  will,  and  with  great  sorrow)  seen.  Then  the  left  hand  being  anointed 
with  oile  of  lillies,  or  fresh  butter,  must  bee  put  into  the  womb,  where- 
with the  chirurgion  must  find  out  the  child's  mouth,  putting  his  finger 
into  it.  Then,  with  his  right  hand,  hee  must  lift  up  the  hook  (according 
to  the  directions  of  the  left  hand)  gently,  and  by  little,  and  little,  and  so 
fasten  it.  He  must  therewith  draw  out  the  head  by  little,  and  little,  for 
feare  of  losing,  or  breaking  the  part,  whereon  hee  hath  hold,  either  in 
the  mouth,  eye,  or  chin.  But,  if  possible,  it  is  better  to  fix  the  crochet 
in  the  hinder  part  of  the  head. 

Also,  in  stead  of  the  hook,  hee  commendeth  the  use  of  the  Grif- 
fon's talen. 

Of  these  two,  I  better  like,  and  had  rather  use  the  crochet,  and 
more  better  than  either  of  these,  the  use  of  the  hand. 

Pareus  saith,  That  it  is  not  an  easy  thing  to  take  hold  on  the 
head,  when  it  remaineth  alone  in  the  womb,  by  reason  of  the  roundnes 
thereof.  Por  it  will  slip,  and  slide  up,  and  down,  unles  the  belly  bee 
pressed  down  on  both  sides,  thereby  to  hold  it  unto  the  instrument,  that 
it  may,  with  facility,  take  hold  thereon. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

To  pre- 
vent the 
off  the 


And  I  hold  this  note  of  Pareus  excellent,  for  the  pressing  down 
the  belly  on  both  sides,  to  hold  it  down  the  better,  whilest  that  the 
instrument  is  in  fixing.  And,  if  any  chirurgion  should  bee  called  to 
such  a  sad  occasion,  I  would  hee  could  remember  this  note,  and  use  it, 
as  directed. 

To  prevent  the  separating  of  the  head  from  the  child's  shoulders, 
I  co  aid  wish  midwives  to  try  first  what  might  bee  done,  by  turning  the 
child's  face  to  the  back  of  the  woman ;  and,  afterward,  by  putting  the 
middle  finger  into  the  child's  mouth,  to  presse  down  the  chin  into  the 
throat,  with  their  other  fingers,  placed  on  the  child's  face,  before  they 
offer  to  draw  by  the  feet ;  and  to  cause  some  other  assisting  woman  to 
make  a  pressure  on  the  child's  head,  to  drive  it  forth. 

But,  when  the  child  is  dead,  and  that  the  chirurgion  perceiveth  the 
child's  neck  to  bee  cracked,  or  broken,  and  that  it  will,  in  probability,  sepa- 
rate from  the  shoulders  with  drawing,  whilest  that  the  child's  head  is  fixed 
to  the  shoulders,  I  would  have  him  slide  up  his  left  hand  anointed,  and 
to  place  it  over  the  child's  head,  and,  in  the  hollow  of  Ins  hand,  to  con- 
vey up  the  crochet,  and  to  fix  it  on  the  child's  head  as  high,  as  may  bee. 
And,  having  then  taken  forth  the  left  hand,  to  put  up  the  right  hand 
against  the  point  of  the  instrument,  when  it  is  fixed,  and  then  to  draw 
with  the  hook,  whilest  that  some  other  assisting  woman  draweth  lea- 
surely  by  the  feet.  And  thus,  I  beleeve  that  a  great  head  may  bee  drawn 
forth,  and  not  separated  from  the  body,  with  much  more  ease  to  the 
woman  and  chirurgion,  then  it  can  bee,  if  once  it  bee  separated  from  the 
body.     See  Elianor  Fletcher. 

Although  I  know  the  crochet  to  bee  usefull,  for  the  releeving  of  a 
weake  woman  in  travaile,   and  for  the  drawing  forth  of  a  dead,  and 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


corrupted  child,  yet  I  would  not  use  it,  if  sudden  danger  doth  not  enforce 
mee  to  reliev  the  woman. 

For,  as  I  have  said,  where  too  great  straitnes,  and  narrownes  of 
the  woman's  body,  or  the  evil  positions  of  the  bones  have  not  hindered, 
or  withstood  my  endeavours,  for  the  turning  away  the  head,  and  pro- 
ducing the  birth  by  the  feet,  that  there,  oft,  with  lesser  trouble  to  the 
women,  and  to  myself,  I  have  happily  delivered  several  women  by  the 
child's  feet. 

But,  if  high,  and  lofty  conceited  midwives,  that  will  leave  nothing 
unattempted,  to  save  their  credits,  and  to  cloak  their  ignorances,  let  mee 
advice  such  women  to  learn  how  to  make  use  of  the  crochet,  rather  than 
pothooks,  packneedles,  silver  spoones,  thatcher's  hooks,  and  knives,  to 
shew  their  imagined  skils.  I  have  known  the  midwives,  and  the  places, 
where  they  have  used  these  follies  to  their  women. 

And  I  intreat  all  midwives,  to  put  of  such  operations  to  the  very 
last  refuge,  untill  it  is  very  manifest,  that  the  child  is  dead,  and  not  to 
make  too  sudden  hast  to  use  the  crochet. 

Or  rather,  to  put  this  work  to  expert  chirurgions,  or  others  (if 
they  may  bee  had)  which  have  used,  and  practiced  such  operations,  to 
deliver  women  by  the  crochet. 

For  Fabritius  Hildanus  saith,  That  alwayes  some  new  thing  hap- 
peneth  in  the  extraction  of  a  dead  foetus,  either  in  the  posture  of  the 
child  in  the  womb,  or  in  the  genitall  parts  of  the  mother. 

This  operation  will  bee  better  learned,  and  understood,  by  seing 
it  performed  by  a  rational!  practicer,  than  by  discourse,  or  reading 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

But,  if  midwives,  or  any  other  never  afore  used  to  practice  in 
these  waves,  will  take  upon  them  a  conceited  boldnes,  to  try  their  sup- 
posed skill; 

Let  them  first  place  the  woman  kneeling  on  a  bed-side,  or,  rather, 
on  a  bolster.  And,  afterward,  with  much  care,  and  gentlenes,  slide  up 
the  left  hand,  well  anointed,  as  high  as  may  bee,  over  the  dead  child's 

Afterward,  in  the  hollownes  of  the  hand,  to  convey  up  the  cro- 
chet, keeping  the  point  toward  the  palm  of  the  hand  in  putting  it  up, 
laying  the  instrument  flattish  in  the  hand. 

This  being  done  (holding  her  hand  over  the  head)  to  turn  the 
point  of  the  instrument  toward  the  child's  head  under  her  hand.  Then 
to  fix  it,  as  high  as  may  bee,  towards  the  hinder  part,  or  on  the  side  of 
the  head. 

The  instrument  being  fixed,  to  take  out  her  left  hand,  and  to  slide 
up  her  right  hand,  opposite  to  the  point  of  the  crochet.  Then,  after- 
ward, to  raise  the  woman  to  a  leaning  posture.  So,  with  the  hand,  on 
one  side,  holding  the  child's  head  steady,  and  with  the  instrument,  on 
the  other  side,  to  draw  gently. 

If  the  skull  teare,  and  the  hold  faile  to  bring  forth  the  head,  let 
her  receiv  the  point  of  the  instrument  with  easy  and  leasurely  drawing, 
upon  the  palm  of  her  hand.  Thus  doing,  shee  neither  hurteth  the 
mother,  or  her  hand,  with  the  receiving  of  the  instrument. 

Then  let  her  fix  it  again  on  the  other  side,  first  putting  up  her 
right  hand  at  the  second  fixing  of  the  instrument.  And,  in  fixing,  alwayes 
remember  to  bee  carefull,  that  when  or  wheresoever  shee  fixeth  the 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


instrument,  that  shee  keepeth  her  open  hand  hollowish,  between  the 
woman's  body,  and  the  child's  head,  whilest  that  shee  fixeth  the  crochet. 

Thus  doing,  the  midwife  will  not  hurt  the  woman's  body,  or  her 
own  hand,  neither  will  shee  bee  deprived  of  her  expectation. 

January  the  12  1661  I  was  called  to  Ticknall  in  Darbyshire,  to 
one  Kisedaile's  wife.  Finding  that  the  child  did  stink,  and  was  much 
swelled,  I  placed  her  kneeling  on  a  hard  bolster,  and,  putting  down 
her  head  to  a  pillow,  that  was  laid  on  a  woman's  lap,  sitting  afore  her, 
and  causing  her  to  straddle  as  wide  as  shee  could  conveniently,  I 
placed  my  self  behind  the  woman,  and  put  up  my  hand  over  the  child's 
head,  and,  in  the  hollownes  of  my  hand,  I  slipped  up  the  crochet, 
laying  it  flat  to  my  hand. 

Afterward  I  turned  the  point  of  it  to  the  child's  head,  and 
fixed  it.  Then  I  drew  forth  my  left  hand,  and  put  up  my  right  hand 
on  the  other  side,  between  the  child's  head,  and  the  woman's  body,  just 
against  the  point  of  the  instrument,  and  on  the  other  side,  with  my 
instrument,  1  drew  leasurely.  And,  thanks  bee  to  God,  I  quickly 
brought  forth  the  dead,  stinking  child.  I  immediately  fetched  away 
the  after-birth,  and  so  put  her  to  bed.  And  this  woman  lived,  and 
recovered  her  health,  and  hard  sufferings,  and  had  children  afterwards. 

The  midwife  had  kept  this  woman  foure  dayes  in  extremity,  and 
and  had  oft  endeavoured  to  pull  it  forth  with  packneedles,  thrust  through 
the  skin  of  the  child's  head,  in  hopes  to  draw  the  child  forth  by  these 
packthreeds,  but  the  skin  was  rotten,  and  quickly  torn,  and  her  hopes 
frustrated  to  help  her,  and  to  save  tins  woman's  life.  At  the  last  I  was 
sent  for. 

The  labouring  woman  may  bee  placed  sitting  on  a  woman's  lap, 

A  dead 

by  the 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

when  the  child  is  much  descended.  Or  you  may  cause  her  to  kneele  on 
a  bedside,  leaning  on  the  neck  of  other  women.  I  have  used  all  these 
wayes  with  good  successe. 

But,  I  suppose,  that  shee  may  bee  more  easily  delivered  kneeling 
on  a  bolster,  for  the  better  fixing  of  the  instrument,  or,  if  you  would,  for 
the  getting  of  the  feet. 

The  use  of  the  bolster  is  great  to  facilitate  this  work.  Tor, 
through  the  woman's  high  kneeling,  and  the  low  placing  of  her  head, 
much  advantage  will  bee  procured  to  reenforce  the  child  to  return,  in 
part,  back  into  the  hollownes  of  the  woman's  body. 

So  you  may  have  the  larger  roome  to  turn,  and  to  move  your 
hand,  to  fetch  the  feet,  or  to  fix  the  instrument.  The  which  will  not  bee 
so  conveniently  done,  whilest  that  her  body  is  placed  above  your  hand, 
as  shee  lyeth  crosse  the  bed,  the  which  will  keep  you  at  a  distance,  and 
remote  from  your  work. 

In  a  difficult  birth,  when  that  you  have  drawn  forth  the  head,  if 
that  the  rest  of  the  body  will  not  bee  brought  forth  easily,  slide  up  your 
finger  under  the  child's  armpit,  and  give  it  a  nudge  toward  tlie  other 
side  from  you,  drawing  with  your  finger.  But,  if  it  will  not  bee  so  per- 
formed, then  fix  your  instrument  under  the  child's  armpit,  in  the 
hollownes  of  the  breast,  and  so  you  may  draw  forth  the  shoulders  with 
the  rest  of  the  body.  Or,  you  may  draw  by  the  head,  wrapped  in  a  linen 
cloth.  Or,  you  may  put  a  strong  fillet,  with  a  sliding  noose,  about  the 
neck,  and  get  some  woman  to  help  you  to  draw  by  it,  as  you  do  by  the 
head  of  the  child. 

The  extraction  of  a  dead  child  is  the  best,  and  safest  way.  to  save 
a  weak  woman  in  extremity,  and  to  preserve  her  life.       For  Guillimeau 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


saith,  That,  whensoever  the  child's  head  is  much  entered  within  the  os 
pubis,  it  is  impossible  to  thrust  him  upward  to  turn  him,  without  much 
endangering  the  mother,  and  causing  great  contusion  in  the  womb,  from 
whence  proceed  diverse  accidents,  and  sometimes  death  with  them. 

This  my  Ticknall  midwife,  some  two  yeares  after,  endeavoured,  in 
the  same  towne,  to  deliver  a  potter's  wife  by  quartering  the  skull  with  a 
knife,  and  taking  forth  the  braines,  yet  shee  could  not  bring  forth  the 
child.  But  shee  much  hurted  the  woman.  Her  ignorance,  with  the 
woman's  afflictions,  stopt  her  for  proceeding  any  farther.  So  her  hus- 
band came  to  mee.  I  went  to  her  with  him.  I  sent  for  the  midwife, 
and  drew  the  child  with  the  crochet,  as  shee  stood  by  mee. 

The  child  was  great,  and  smelt,  and  did  stink;  the  skin,  in  severall 
places,  much  flayed  off.  I  modestly  rebuked  the  midwife's  doings,  and 
so  I  lost  the  good  will  of  this  midwife,  and,  as  much  as  might  bee,  her 
future  practice. 

This  poore  woman  died  the  next  day,  I  beleeve,  through  the  hurts, 
that  shee  received  from  her  midwife's  knife. 

The  woman's  body  smelt  unsavoury  in  the  time  of  her  delivery. 

-•      .ft 
At  Spoondon  in  Darbyshire  another  midwife  used  the  same  prac- 
tice, for  cutting  the  child's  head,  and  pulling  out  the  braines. 

In  her  sufferings  I  was  sent  for,  but  this  midwife  had  finished  her 
work  before  I  came. 

And  her  woman  died  the  next  day  after  her  delivery. 

My  Ticknall  midwife  Apr.  17  1666  kept  Catherine,  the  wife  of 
Joseph  Clark,  six  dayes  in  labour.     Shee  was  a  great  haler,  and  stretcher 

v~2  ~ 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

of  women's  bodies,  and,  through  her  ignorance,  much  injured  all  her 
women,  to  whom  shee  came.     But  since,  shee  is  dead. 

When  shee  heard  that  her  husband  was  gone  to  fetch  mee  to  his 
wife,  whether  shee  feared  a  second  rebuke  I  know  not ;  but  then  shee 
bestirred  her  self,  and,  with  the  help  of  another  woman,  the  work  was 
done,  whilest  that  I  was  comming ;  and  shee  sent  speedily  another  mes- 
senger to  stop  my  journey,  and  to  turn  me  back. 

And,  although  I  offered  to  have  gone  through  the  journey  to  see 
his  wife,  yet  it  was  thought  needles.  I  then  desired  her  husband  to  see 
his  dead  child,  and  to  let  mee  have  the  true  report,  how,  by  the  midwife, 
it  was  used.  But  the  midwife  told  him,  Hee  could  not  see  it,  for  that  it 
was  wound  up,  and  stuck  with  rosemary,  and  baies.  His  wife  died  that 

I  leave  the  reader  to  think  what  hee,  or  shee  pleaseth  of  this 
woman,  and  how  the  child  was  used. 

I  could  heartily  wish,  That  all  midwives  would  bee  friendly,  and 
courteous  to  their  afflicted  women,  that  they  would  not  bee  drawn  aside 
with  vain  conceits,  nor  too  much  adhere  to  their  own  opinions,  nor  to 
shew  themselves  stubborn  against  such,  as  should  direct  them  better 
waves  to  follow.  For  my  own  part,  I  was  ever  willing  to  learn  of  any 
one,  and  ever  was  thankfull  to  any  one,  that  did  shew  mee  any  thing  of 

IVot  far  from  Ashburn  there  was  a  poor  creature,  that  was  willing 
to  suffer  any  affliction  to  bee  delivered.  After  much  pulling,  and  stretch- 
ing her  body,  her  conceited  midwife's  last  refuge  was,  not  to  roll  her  on 
the  bed,  but  to  tosse  her  in  a  blanket,  as  some  have  served  dogs,  hoping 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


that  this  violent  motion  would  force  the  child  out  of  her  body.  But  her 
conceits  failing,  I  was  sent  for,  and  the  midwife,  and  women  told  mee, 
That  they  had  tossed  her  in  a  blanket,  but  that  it  did  no  good. 

But  I  beleeved,  that  all  their  strengths,  and  forces  were  not  able 
to  do  it,  but  rather,  That  they  moved  her  body  violently,  by  shaking,  and 
rolling  her  in  the  blanket.  And  I  durst  not  rind  fault  with  any  thing, 
that  this  waspish  company  had  done,  in  thus  using  this  poor  distressed 

I  found  that  the  child  came  by  the  head.  I  endeavoured  to  force 
the  birth  by  medicines.  But,  when  nothing  prevailed,  as  shee  kneeled,  I 
drew  away  the  dead  child  with  the  crochet. 

Shee  recovered ;  it  was  much  to  bee  wondered,  that  this  tossing 
affliction  had  not  set  her  body  in  a  loosnes. 

It  may  so  happen,  That  the  chirurgion  cannot  alwayes  draw  forth 
the  child's  head  with  the  crochet,  when  that  the  skull  is  separated,  and 
the  skin  very  rotten,  and  so  it  cannot  keep  any  hold. 

In  this  case  lay  aside  the  instrument,  and,  with  your  fingers,  put 
into  the  wound  made  by  the  crochet,  and  your  thumb  placed  outwardly 
over  the  skin,  and  the  bones  of  the  head  joined  together,  draw  leasurely. 
It  so  may  follow  by  this  way,  that  you  may  draw  forth  the  rotten  body, 
holding  the  bones,  and  skin  together  between  your  thumb,  and  fingers. 
But,  if  this  way  also  faileth,  then  again  fix  your  instrument  in  some  part 
of  the  neck  towards  the  head,  or  about  the  upper  part  of  the  shoulder, 
or  breast. 

Sever  all  honest  women,  chiefly  in  the  time  of  their  first  bringing 
forth  of  children,  have  sadly  suffered  by  ignorant,  robustious  midwives, 
in  putting  them  to  kneele,  or  to  sit  on  their  stooles,  or  woman's  laps, 







Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

before  the  womb  hath  beene  opened,  or  any  waters  have  gathered,  with 
their  hinder  parts  naked,  and  starved  with  cold,  and,  by  their  halings, 
npon  every  sleight  pain  stretching  those  tender  places,  have  made  their 
women  sore,  and  swel'd  which  ignorant  usage  of  theirs  hath  done  much 
hurt,  not  onely  by  hindering  the' birth,  but  also  endangering  the  life  of 
the  mother  and  child.  And  in  severall  places,  unto  which  I  have  beene 
sent  for,  I  have  found  the  mother  undelivered,  and  shee  and  the  child 
dead  before  I  could  come  unto  them,  through  the  ignorance  of  such 

I  travailed  all  night  to  Chesterfield,  and  was  greatly  pelted  (after 
some  three  houres  riding)  with  Hashes  of  fire,  dreadful  thunderclaps,  and 
stormes  of  rain.  I  came  to  the  place  about  foure  in  the  morning,  and 
there  I  found  both  mother,  and  child  dead,  and  shee  not  delivered. 
This  woman  might  have  been  easily  helped,  had  I  been  there  in  con- 
venient time  Anno  1631  by  drawing  the  child  with  the  crochet,  if  that 
she  could  not  otherwayes  have  been  relieved. 

I  was  sent  for  from  Stafford,  to  come  to  a  lady  beyond  Congerton. 
Her  midwife  had  kept  her  severall  dayes  in  labour.  I  took  my  daughter 
with  mee.  Wee  travailed  all  night,  and  wee  were  wetted  with  much  rain 
to  our  skins.  Wee  came,  by  break  of  day,  to  the  place.  But  this 
Lady  was  dead,  undelivered,  before  our  coming.  I  much  desired  to  see 
her  corps,  but  the  midwife  would  not  permit  it.  I  knew  this  midwife 
not  to  bee  very  judicious  in  her  profession,  and  I  beleeve,  That  shee  was 
ashamed  that  her  work  should  be  seen  Anno  1655.  .  This  midwife  was 
gentile  in  habit  of  cloths,  but  ignorant  in  the  wayes  of  practice  of 

I  was  brought  to  Cossall,  in  Nottinghamshire,  to  a  woman,  whose 
mother  was  a  midwife,  and  in  the  house  with  her.     So  soone  as  paines 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


came  upon  her,  before  the  opening  of  the  womb,  or  the  gathering  of  the 
waters,  shee  endeavoured  to  deliver  her  daughter.  After  much  suffering 
I  was  desired  to  help  her.  Perceiving  her  mother  ignorant,  I  put  her  to 
bed,  willing  her  to  lie  quiet,  and,  if  shee  could,  to  sleep.  Being  thus 
strengthened,  and  refreshed,  when  true  labour  approached,  nature 
opened  the  womb,  and  shee  was  soon  after  delivered  of  a  living  daughter. 

A  kinswoman,  being  with  child,  and  having  a  good  opinion  of  a 
lusty,  strong  bodied  midwife,  brought  her  many  miles  with  her,  and 
kept  her  in  her  house,  for  that  shee  should  bee  at  hand  to  assist  her  in 
her  travaile. 

When  this  woman's  labour  approached,  the  midwife,  placing  her- 
self behind  her,  mightily  bestirred  her,  with  haling,  to  stretch  the  birth 
place,  as  shee  kneeled.  And,  thrusting  her  fingers  into  her  body,  by 
main  strength,  shee  oft  lifted  her  from  her  knees,  whereby  shee  made  a 
great  breach  from  the  birth,  into  the  fundament,  before  shee  was  de- 

After  that  shee  was  recovered  of  her  weaknes,  I  was  sent  for. 
And,  finding  that  this  rift  on  each  side  was  cicatrized,  and  healed,  I 
perswaded  her  not  to  meddle  with  it,  but  to  bee  contented  to  suffer  the 
breach>  for  that  it  would  bee  troublesome,  and  difficult  to  cure,  and  also, 
for  that,  if  shee  should  have  more  children,  they  would  bee  more  easily 
born/  through  the  spaciousnes  of  the  place,  made  more  open  and  pass- 

Pareus  saith  chap.  27..Hb.  ,^  de  generatione  hominis,  That  this 
breach  is  a  most  unfortunate  mischance  for  the  mother  afterwards.  For 
when  shee  should  travaile  again  (if  that  it  could  bee  healed)  shee  cannot 
have  her  genitall  parts  to  extend,  and  to,  draw  themselves  in  again  by 

A  breach 
made  in 
the  funda- 
ment by 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

the  birth. 

reason  of  the  scar.     So  that,  then,  it  should  bee  needful  that  the  chiru'r- 
gion  should  again  open  the  place,  that  was  cicatrized.    Tor  otherwise,  sh  ee 
shall  never  bee  delivered,  although  shee  strive,  or  contend  never  so  much. 

The  cold  aire,  with  the  cold  keeping  of  women  in  travaile,  doth 
straiten,  and  make  stiffe  the  genitall  passages,  that  they  cannot  bee  easily 
relaxed,  and  so,  by  accident,  oft  is  made  a  slow  and  painful  labour. 

At  Nottingham  in  Anno  1642  one  Good  wife  More,  dwelling  on 
the  long  row,  was  foure  dayes  in  labour.  At  last  1  was  called,  and, 
finding  that  the  child  came  right,  and  that  the  birth  was  much  retarded 
through  cold,  that  shee  had  suffered,  and  taken,  by  keeping  the  birth- 
place, with  thethighes,  and  hips,  naked,  in  long  kneeling ;  I  caused  her 
to  bee  put  into  a  warm  bed,  and  to  bee  kept  quiet.  After  a  while,  I 
gave  her  some  medicines,  to  move  throwes,  and  willed  her  to  endeavour 
to  sleep.  About  three  houres  after  that  shee  had  taken  some  rest,  and 
had  been  kept  warm  in  bed,  strong  labour  came  upon  her ;  and,  on  a 
sudden,  as  shee  lay  in  her  bed,  shee  was  delivered  by  mee  (of  which  the 
company  knew  nothing)  of  a  living  son,  untill  I  called  the  midwife  to 
mee,  and  willed  her  to  take  up  the  child.  The  mother,  and  her  son  were 
living  April  6,  1661. 

At  Wolerton  Hall,  nigh  Nottingham  Anno  1647  the  Bailiff's 
wife,  Good  wife  Percy,  having  lien  long  in  labour,  and  wearied  with 
kneeling  (which  is  the  country  mode)  and  as  good  as  naked  over  all  her 
hinder  parts,  having  her  cloths  laid  as  high  as  her  hips,  which  way 
retarded  the  birth,  and  starved  her  body  ■  Shee  sent  for  mee.  I  came 
better  than  eight  miles  unto  her,  and  found  her  kneeling  in  that  uncomely, 
and  unfitting  manner,  and  having  no  throwes  on  her.  And,  finding  the 
child  to  come  in  a  right  posture,  I  thought  it  the  best  way  to  give  the 
simple   midwife  good  words,  to  get  her  from  under  her  hands,    and 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


desired  her  to  permit  her  woman  to  rest,  and  to  ease  her  self  on  her 
bed,  on  which  I  placed  her,  and  wrapped  her  warme.  Afterwards,  s  I 
gave  her  medicines  to  move  labonr.  So  I  willed  her  to  rest  quiet, 
and  to  sleep,  if  that  shee  could.  Some  two,  or  three  houres  after  that 
shee  had  thus  been  kept  warm,  finding  her  throwes  increasing,  I  came 
unto  her,  and,  as  shee  lay  on  the  bed,  shee  was  speedily  delivered. 
Severall  women,  with  the  midwife,  would  not  beleeve  it,  untill  they 
heard  the  child  to  cry,  the  mother,  and  daughter  now  living  in  Notting- 
ham 1667,  and  this  daughter  is  married,  and  hath  a  child. 

To  these  unhandsome,  absurd,  and  foolish  wayes,  through  igno- 
rance, some  midwives  have  added  cruelties,  in  pulling,  and  cutting  off 
the  armes  of  infants ;  and  have  proceeded  farther,  through  their  grosse 
mistakes,  and  have  wished  some  to  cut  off  lumps,  lying  before  the  birth- 
place, affirming,  That,  otherwise,  the  woman  could  not  bee  delivered. 

A  good  friend,  and  an  honest,  good  woman  gave  mee  this  report 
of  her  mother's  sufferings. 

Her  mother  had  a  lusty,  young  woman  for  her  midwife.  And,  in 
the  time  of  her  travaile,  the  infant  came  by  the  arme. 

Shee  pulled  long  by  the  arme,  so  hoping  to  deliver  her.  But,  at 
the  last,  with  her  pulling  shee  tore  the  shoulder  from  the  child's  body; 
then,  wrapping  it  privately  in  cloths,  shee  conveyed  it  into  her  pocket, 
and  fained  an  excuse,  That  shee  must  needs  go  home,  saying  that  shee 
would  come  again.  But,  her  mother  continuing  in  extremity,  another 
midwife  was  sent  for,  and  shee  was  delivered  before  the  first  midwife 
returned.  The  child,  being  viewed,  was  seen  to  want  an  arme.  Much 
search  was  made  to  find  it,  but  it  was  not  to  bee  found.  At  last,  the 
first  midwife  returned.     Shee  was  asked  what  shee  had  done  with  the 

of   arms. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

child's  arme.     Then,  with  shame,  shee  took  it  forth  of  her  pocket,  and 
gave  it  to  the  company. 

I  have  cause  to  beleev  the  former  report,  for  that,  in  the  yeare 
1 643,  there  came  into  the  house  of  a  worthy,  good  friend,  a  woman  with 
a  little  basket,  having  a  child's  arme,  and  shoulder  in  it,  which  was  pulled 
off  by  the  midwife,  and  her  assistance.  And  my  help  was  desired,  to 
save  the  woman's  life,  that  had  the  rest  of  the  child  remaining  in  her 
body.  I  went  with  the  woman,  and  took  the  Gentlewoman's  midwife 
with  mee,  for  that  I  would  not  have  the  Gentlewoman  discouraged,  that 
was,  then,  great  with  child,  at  so  sad  an  object,  as  shee  had  seen. 

I  laid  tins  woman  of  the  remaining  part  of  the  child's  body,  hav- 
ing this  Gentlewoman's  midwife  by  mee,  and  shee  recovered  her  strength, 
and  lived  many  years  afterwards. 

Shee  was  Thomas  Hofe's  wife,  hee,  and  shee  lived  at  Willington 
in  Darbyshire. 

Seek  for  the  relation  of  Hampton  Eidway  Elizabeth  Twomly. 

An  aim 
cut  off. 

I  was  called  to  Lichfield  July  30  1670  to  Mary,  the  wife  of 
Edmund  Hector,  a  barber-chirurgion.  This  woman  was  formerly 
laid  by  her  midwife  with  good  successe.  But  now  shee  had  a  birth,  in 
which  the  child  came  by  the  arme.  At  my  comming  to  her,  I  found 
with  her  three  midwives.  They  had  greatly  tortured  her  body,  by  en- 
deavouring to  reduce  the  child's  arme,  and,  when  it  would  not  abide  up, 
they  would  have  pulled  it  away  by  the  arme.  But,  at  last,  it  was 
thought  the  best  way  to  cut  off  the  child's  arme  close  to  the  shoulder. 
The  infant  was  a  boy. 

I  found  her  much  spent,  and  weak,  and  full  of  paine,  and  I  had 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


no  great  encouragement  to  meddle  with  her,  for  that  shee  had  been  much 
abused,  and,  through  ignorant  midwives,  her  body  much  bruised. 

Shee  intreated,  and  much  desired  to  bee  released,  and  eased  of 
her  tortures.  I  placed  her  kneeling  on  the  side  of  a  bed,  and,  finding 
the  birth-place  filled  with  the  rest  of  the  shoulder,  I  put  it  back,  and 
endeavoured  to  draw  forth  the  dead  child  with  the  crochet,  but  I  could 
not,  any  way,  conveniently  fix  it  on  the  head,  for  that  the  neck  was 
much  distorted,  and  the  head,  on  one  side,  lay  deep  in  her  body,  and 
would  not  be  removed. 

Therefore  I  laid  aside  the  instrument,  and  made  use  of  my  hand 

And,  having  my  hand  anointed  with  fresh  butter,  I  easily  slid  it 
up,  and  quickly  found  the  other  hand,  and  feet  lying  close  together.  I 
took  hold  of  the  foot,  and  brought  it  forth,  without  afflicting  the  woman, 
ever  drawing  leasurely,  untill  I  had  obtained  the  other  foot.  When  it 
came  to  the  hips;  I  turned  the  child,  for  that  it  came  with  the  face  to 
the  mother's  belly.  Then  I  drew  it  to  the  neck,  and,  having  put  my 
middle  finger  into  the  child's  mouth,  to  presse  down  the  chin  into  the 
child's  throat,  I  drew  again  easily,  and  the  work  was  soon  finished,  in 
lesse  space  then  half  a  quarter  of  an  houre. 

Unless  the  head  be  fixed  in  the  bones,  the  which  is  seldome  found, 
after  that  the  midwives  have  endeavoured  to  pull  the  child  forth  by  the 
arme  (for  by  their  pullings  the  neck  commeth  greatly  distorted,  and 
crooked)  I  would  not  have  the  chirurgion  to  offer  to.  draw  it  by  the 
crochet ;  but,  by  his  hand,  to  fetch  it  away.  So  will  his  worke  bee 
easier,  and  better  bee  performed  by  the  foot,  then  by  the  crochet. 

If  hand  and  foot  lie  close  together,  you  may  easily  distinguish 

w~2  ~  ' 

A  distor- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

between  them.  The  thigh  is  much  thicker  then  the  arm,  and  the  foot  is 
grosse,  and  thick,  and  hath  no  bendings,  but  with  short  toes.  The  hand 
is  small,  and  long,  and  full  of  bending  fingers. 

And  I  know  assuredly,  That,  where  there  is  room  to  put  up  the 
hand,  that  a  woman  may  easier,  and  better  bee  delivered  by  the  hand, 
and  more  sooner,  then  shee  can  bee  by  the  crochet.     See  the  scheme. 

And  it  will  bee  more  pleasing  to  the  woman  to  bee  laid  by  the 
hand.     For  instruments  bee  dreadfull  to  them. 

Some  three,  or  foure  houres  after  that  this  woman  was  delivered, 
upon  some  discourse,  I  desired  to  see  this  child  again.  The  midwife, 
that  cut  off  the  arme,  brought  it  to  mee.  The  child  was  very  hand- 
somely put  into  a  shirt,  and  the  arme  was  put  up  into  the  sleeve  unto 
the  shoulder,  and  the  hand  tied  at  the  wrist,  and  decently  laid  by  the 
child's  side. 

It  was  so  well  done,  and  shrouded,  that  to  one,  that  knew 
nothing,  and  had  onely  looked  on  the  child's  body,  thus  shrouded,  that 
this  ill  work,  at  a  distance,  could  not  have  been  perceived,  that  the  arme 
was  cut  off  at  the  shoulder. 

In  probability,  the  other  midwife  would  have  used  this  sleight, 
to  cover  her  rude  handling,  and  doings,  had  not  they  been  casually  dis- 

This  woman  lived  some  four,  or  five  dayes  after  her  delivery,  and 
then  shee  departed,  as  I  feared. 

A  great 
about  a 

Anno  1648,  or  thereabouts,  I  was  desired,  by  an  eminent  midwife, 
joined  with  two  other  midwives,  to  come  to  a  labouring  woman  in  much 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Before  I  saw  the  woman,  these  midwives  assured  mee,  That  there 
lay  a  great  lump  of  flesh  before  the  womb,  and  that  shee  could  not  bee 
delivered  before  that  lump  was  removed,  and  they  all  desired  mee  to  cut 
it  forth. 

After  that  I  had  placed  the  woman  kneeling,  and  had  considered 
of  the  matter,  I  found  this  lump  of  flesh  (so  called  by  them)  to  bee  the 
child's  head,  enfolded  in  the  womb,  as  yet  not  opened,  and  that  some 
part  of  the  neck  of  the  womb  was  descended  with  it  into  the  vagina 

These  midwives  would  not  beleeve  it,  but  told  mee  severall  strange 
stories,  to  induce  mee  to  cut  it  forth.  I  desired  them  to  bee  patient, 
for  that  I  hoped  that  all  would  go  well  with  the  woman,  without  cutting, 
or  taking  away  of  the  lump. 

I  put  her  to  bed,  I  gave  her  first  a  clyster,  and  willed  her  to  keep 
it  as  long  as  shee  could,  and  to  give  her  self  to  sleep.  Not  long,  after- 
wards, I  gave  her  medicines  to  prepare,  and  make  way  for  a  birth,  for 
that  shee  had  slight  throws. 

The  womb  ascended,  this  lump  returned  again  into  her  body,  and 
was  no  more  felt. 

Between  two,  and  three  of  the  clock  in  the  ensuing  morning,  the 
waters  issued,  and,  about  an  hour  after,  shee  was  delivered  by  mee  of  a 
dead  child.  Shee  recovered  well  again  her  strength,  and  health,  and 
hath,  since  that  time,  been  the  mother  of  severall  living  children. 

Had  I  beleeved  these  midwives,  and  had  been  overcome  with  their 
stories,  and  perswasions,  then  should  I  have  caused  great  effusion  of 
blood,  by  cutting  away  part  of  the  womb  with  the  child's  head  in  it. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 




And,  in  so  doing,  I  should  have  destroyed  the  woman,  and  have  filled 
the  eares  of  all,  that  should  have  heard  of  it,  with  various,  and  ugly 
reports  of  my  harsh,  ignorant  cruelty,  and  bloody  practice. 

Distorted  head,  or  neck. 

Guillimeau  144. 

When  the  child  commeth,  in  an  unnaturall  birth,  with  a  distorted 
neck,  the  head  lying  in  the  flank,  or  on  the  back,  or  breast,  after  con- 
venient placing  the  woman,  draw  the  birth  forth  by  the  feet.  See  the 

When  any  one  shall  endeavour  to  try  this  way  of  Guillimeau,  I 
beleev  that  hee  will  not  find  it  facile,  or  easy  to  bee  done,  but  that  hee 
will  rather  approve  the  way,  by  drawing  by  the  feet,  much  more  easy, 
and  better,  then  after  this  way  to  produce  the  infant  by  the  head. 

See  p.  162  the  Lichfield  woman  with  the  distorted  neck. 

Strang  Afterbirths. 

In  the  yeare  1648  I  was  called  to  a  worthy,  civill,  good  condi- 
tioned woman,  being  with  child,  and,  full  of  feares,  and  having  passed 
the  better  part  of  her  going  with  child,  yet  her  belly  was  not  great, 
which  troubled  her  thoughts,  mistrusting,  that  somewhat  would  fall 
amisse  to  her,  or  her  child,  if  not  to  both ;  For  that  shee  felt  it  some- 
times weakly  to  link,  and  dully  to  move  in  her  body,  and,  at  that  instant 
time,  the  child  having  the  same  motion,  shee  prayed  mee  to  feel,  if  that 
I  could  perceive  the  same. 

Her  body  was  so  fallen  down,  that  I  could  easily  reach  it  with  my 
finger,  without  any  trouble,  or  enforcement. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  assured  her,  that  I  did  perceive  the  dull  motion,  with  the  link- 
ing, that  shee  had  mentioned. 

Shee  intreated  mee  (when  occasion  should  bee)  to  come  unto  her, 
for  that  shee  was  resolved  to  have  mee  with  her  in  the  time  of  her 

Shee  sent  for  mee,  and  I  came  speedily  with  her  messenger,  but 
shee  was  delivered  of  a  small  embryon  before  my  comming,  not  much 
longer  than  my  little  finger. 

But  the  secondine  was  more  then  two  inches  thick,  resembling  a 
griped  hand,  and  fashioned  like  a  round  turnep,  having  a  small,  flattish, 
round  hollowness  in  the  bottom  of  it,  like  a  broad  saucer,  and  covered 
with  the  membrane  annexed  to  it,  in  winch  this  Embryon  was  enfolded. 
I  never  saw  the  like  afore,  or  since,  and  beleeve  that  I  shall  never  see 
the  like  againe,  for  the  roundnes  and  great  thicknes.  Shee  had 
severall  children  after  this  abortion. 

In  the  yeare  1634,  or  thereabouts,  in  June,  I  was  sent  for  by  a 
Gentlewoman.  Sheliad  flouded,  and  it  was  stayed,  by  letting  her  bloud 
in  the  arme,  and  giving  her  astringent  cordials,  and  Juleps.  But  it  oft 
returned  again,  and  againe.  At  last,  shee  had  great  abundance  of  blood 
flowing  by  pashes,  with  them  came  a  roundish  lump  of  hard  flesh,  of  a 
gristly  substance,  bigger  than  a  goose  egge,  which  was  thick,  and  hard 
to  cut.  It  was,  in  the  middle,  hollowish,  the  breadth,  and  space  of  a 
little  nutmeg,  in  which  was  a  small  body,  no  bigger  then  a  barley  corn, 
hanging  by  a  navel-string,  and  noting  in  water. 

After  the  comming  of  this  after-burden,  shee  had  no  more  floud- 
ing,  or  pashes  of  blood,  but  soon  recovered  again  her  former  health,  and 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

If  the  flux  of  blood  be  caused  by  the  after-birth,  comming  afore 
the  birth  of  the  child,  or  in  the  time  of  travaile, 

When  the  after-birth  offereth  it  self  before  the  child  bee  born, 
lying  either  in  the  mouth  of  the  womb,  or  appearing  in  the  outward 
parts,  Guillimeau,  the  French  King's  chirurgion,  in  his  book  of  the 
happy  delivery  of  women,  fol.  132,  saith,  That  the  most  sure,  and  ready 
way  to  help  the  woman,  is  to  deliver  her  speedily,  because,  most  com- 
monly, there  followeth  a  continual  flux  of  blood ;  for  that  the  orifices  of 
the  venes  are  opened,  which  are  spread  in  the  sides  of  the  womb,  and 
there  meet  with  the  vessels  of  the  after-burden,  and  then  the  ma- 
trix doth  straine,  and  force  it  self  to  put  forth  the  child.  Then  doth 
it  thrust  out  both  the  bloud,  that  is  contained  therein,  and  that,  which 
is  drawn  thither,  either  by  any  heat,  or  paine. 

Besides,  when  the  child  is  inclosed  in  the  womb,  and  the  orifice 
thereof  stopt  with  the  after-birth,  then  the  child  cannot  breathe  any 
longer  by  his  mother's  arteries,  and  so,  for  want  of  help,  hee  will  bee 
quickly  choaked,  and  even  swallowed  up  in  the  blood,  which  is  contained 
in  the  womb,  ,and  which  issueth  from  the  venes,  that  are  open  therein. 

But,  before  you  attempt  any  thing,  these  two  points  must  bee 

First,  whether  the  after-burden  bee  come  forth  but  a  little,  or,  else 
very  much.  If  it  bee  but  a  little  (when  the  mother  is  well  placed)  it 
must  bee  thrust,  and  put  back  again  with  as  much  care,  as  may  pos- 
sible bee.  And,  if  the  head  of  the  child  come  first,  let  it  bee  placed 
right  in  the  passage,  thereby  to  help  the  natural!  delivery.  But,  if  you 
find  any  difficulty,  or,  if  you  perceive,  That  the  child's  head  cannot 
easily  bee  brought  forward,  or,  that  the  child,  or  his  mother,  or  both 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


together  bee  weak,  foreseing  that  the  travaile  will  bee  long,  then,  with- 
out doubt,  the  best  and  surest  way  is,  to  search  for  the  feet  (as  wee 
have  said)  and  to  pluck  him  forth  gently  by  them. 

The  other  point,  to  bee  observed,  is,  That,  if  the  said  after -birth 
bee  much  come  forth,  and  that  it  cannot  bee  put  back  again,  (as  well 
by  reason  of  the  bignes  of  it,  as  also,  of  the  flux  of  blood,  that  com- 
monly companies  it,)  and  likewise,  if  the  child  follow  it  close,  staying 
onely  to  come  into  the  world,  then  must  the  after-burden  bee  pulled  away 
quite,  and,  when  it  is  come  forth,  it  must  bee  laid  aside,  without  cutting 
the  string,  that  cleaves  unto  it. 

For,  by  the  guiding  of  the  same  string,  you  may  easily  find  the 
child ;  who,  whether  hee  bee  alive,  or  dead,  must  bee  drawn  forth  by  the 
legs,  with  as  much  dexterity  as  may  bee. 

And  this  must  bee  done  onely  in  great  necessity,  that  the  child 
may  bee  quickly  drawn  forth,  as  it  may  easily  bee  judged  by  the  sentence 
of  Hippocrates,  who  saith :  That  the  after-burden  should  come  forth 
after  the  child,  for,  if  it  come  first,  the  child  cannot  live,  because  hee 
takes  his  life  from  it,  as  a  plant  doth  from  the  earth. 

Sometimes,  it  chanceth,  That  a  part  of  the  after-birth,  as  also 
the  membrane,  that  contains  the  waters,  doth  offer  itself,  like  a  skin,  and 
comes  forth,  sometimes,  the  length  of  half  a  foot,  which  happens  to 
such  women,  as  have  the  skin,  wherein  the  waters  are  contained,  swelling 
out,  to  the  bignes  of  one's  fist,  or  more,  which,  breaking  forth  of  them- 
selves, leave  the  skin  hanging  forth,  and  yet  the  child  not  following  it. 
Which  happening,  it  must  not  bee  violently  puTd  away,  because  the  after- 
burden,  oftentimes,  is  not  wholly  loosened  from  the  sides  of  the  womb. 
So  that,  in  drawing  that,  you  shall  likewise  draw  the  said  after-burden, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


and  so,  consequently,  the  womb,  or  else  part  thereof;  which,  commonly, 
brings  the  woman  into  extreme  paines,  and  faintings,  yea  and,  often- 
times, to  death. 

Which  Guillimeau  said  happened  (to  his  great  grief)  unto  a 
Gentlewoman,  that  died  so  soon,  as  shee  was  delivered,  who  putting  her- 
self into  her  nurse's  hands,  who  took  upon  her  to  bee  a  midwife,  and 
was  so  venturous,  as  to  pluck,  and  draw  forth  the  said  membrane,  and 
part  of  the  after-burden,  which  came  to  light  by  meanes  of  her  chamber- 
maid, who  had  kept  it,  and  shewed  it  us,  after  her  decease,  wee  being 
very  inquisitive  to  know  the  cause  of  her  death. 

But,  when  this  happens,  it  must  not  bee  pulled  away ;  but,  rather, 
gently  bee  thrust  in  again ;  or,  else,  you  must  put  in  your  hand  between 
that,  and  the  neck  of  the  womb,  to  find  the  child's  feet,  and  so  to  draw 
him  forth,  as  wee  have  shewed  before.      Guillimeau  chap.  12.  lib.  2. 

The  comming  forth  of  such  membranes  happened  to  Mrs.  Jane 
Molineux,  at  the  birth  of  her  daughter  Mary,  which  was  drawn  forth  by 
the  feet. 

It  happened  again  to  her,  after  that  shee  was  married  to  a  second 
husband,  Wildbore,  by  name,  and  nature,  when  shee  was  delivered  of  her 
son  Thomas,  who  followed  the  waters. 

A  good  woman  was  delivered  of  a  daughter.,  with  such  usuall 
afflictions,  as  bee  incident  to  other  women,  November  the  second  being 
Tuesday  1669. 

Her  midwife  made  much  strugling  in  her  body,  to  fetch  away  the 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Sometimes  shee  said  that  shee  had  hold  of  it,  but  that  it  was 
again  overslipped  her  hand.  Thus  was  this  woman  tortured  by  her  mid- 
wife for  the  space  of  an  houre,  or  longer.  But  at  last  (as  it  was  said) 
shee  got  it.  But  I  can  hardly  beleeve,  that  she  had  it  whole,  for  that 
the  after-burden  was  lacerated,  and,  as  supposed,  part  left  in  her  body, 
where  it  did  stick ;  for  that  shee  had  great  pashes  of  bloud  afterwards, 
which  came  with  a  lump  of  spongious  flesh. 

Her  Physician  was  noc  of  this  opinion,  but  thought  that  this 
lump  of  flesh  was  part  of  the  womb  rotted  forth,  and  that  the  womb 
was  torn  by  the  midwife. 

Her  husband's  mother  came  to  see  her  some  five  dayes  after  her 
delivery.     Shee  told  her  mother,  sitting  by  her,  that  then  shee  flouded. 

Her  mother  caused  the  wet  closier  to  bee  taken  from  her,  and  to 
bee  carried  away  into  the  next  roome,  for  that  it  sented  very  strongly ; 
where  this  cloth  was  opened,  and  seen  filled  with  an  odious,  stinking 
moisture,  in  colour  blackish,  resembling  pudled  ditch  water. 

Her  friends,  apprehending  then  much  danger,  desired  that  I  might 
bee  sent  for,  to  come  unto  her  the  Saturday  following.  But,  by  reason 
of  a  former  engagement,  I  could  not  then  bee  permitted  to  go.  Yet,  in 
my  letter,  I  desired,  That  they  would  make  use  of  Dr  Dakins,  that  was 
nearly  related  to  her.     Unknown  to  mee,  hee  was  in  the  house  with  her. 

Her  husband,  in  his  letter,  did  not  mention  any  thing  of  her 
sufferings.  And,  for  that  shee  was  delivered,  I  was  not  too  urgent  to 
procure  my  liberty,  but  was  willing  to  refer  it  to  a  more  able  man  for 

Yet,  as  the   busines  fell  out,  I  wished  afterwards,  That  I  had 

Anne  Brad- 
ford at 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

gon;  so  that  after  her  death,  I  might  have  had  the  liberty  to  have 
opened  her  body,  to  have  seen  the  true  cause  of  her  ruine,  which  thing 
was  desired  by  the  physician,  and  some  of  her  relations,  after  her  de- 

The  fifth  day,  the  issuing  humours  were  so  stinking,  having  a 
cadaverous,  suffocating  sent,  that  the  room  was  not  well  endured  by  the 
incommers,  for  that  it  caused  in  some  of  them  a  heaving  at  the  stomach. 

Shee  slept  well  at  Saturday  at  night, 
before  shee  was  well  awaked,  she  talked  idly, 
and  towards  night  shee  died. 

But  on  Sunday  morning, 
Shee  was  ill  all  that  day, 

Her  midwife  was  very  free  uttering  her  opprobrious  words  against 
physicians,  saying,  That  they  alwayes  made  work,  wheresoever  they  came. 
But  it  had  been  more  for  her  credit,  if  that  shee  had  not  made  such 
ignorant  struglings  in  the  womb  of  this  good  woman,  that  was  ruinated 
by  her  doings. 

The  Doctour,  and  his  wife,  being  her  Husband's  mother,  related 
these  usages  of  her  midwife's  doings  to  mee,  and  of  their  daughter's 
death.  And  I  suppose,  That  this  old,  ignorant  midwife,  in  stead  of 
the  after-burden,  took  hold  of  some  part  of  the  neck  of  the  womb,  or 
of  some  other  part  thereabouts,  and,  mistaking  her  work,  shee  endea- 
voured to  pull  that  away,  which  shee  had  hold  of.  And  that  shee  had 
made  excoriations,  and  bruises  in  the  womb  with  her  fingers,  and  nailes, 
from  whence  issued  these  noisome  fluxes,  shewing  that  the  womb  was 
mortified.  Of  this  opinion  was  her  Father  in  law  the  Dr.  and  that  the 
after-burden  was  not  drawn  away  by  her  skill,  but  rather,  in  part,  ex- 
pelled by  nature's  enforcement. 

After  the  child  is  borne,  the  after-birth  is  a  useles,  dead  piece  of 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


flesh.     It  cannot  slip  away,  if  that  the  midwife  gather  it  in  her  hand,  or 
take  hold  of  it  with  her  fingers. 

Strong  blasts  from  the  month,  or  bokenings,  caused  by  the  finger 
put  into  the  throat,  or  coughing,  or,  most  of  all,  sneezing  hath  oft  driven 
forth  the  after-burden,  without  the  midwife's  essaies  to  fetch  it. 

And,  without  all  doubt,  when  the  midwife  hath  hold  on  the  after- 
burden,  and  draweth  gently,  upon  the  enforcements  of  coughings, 
sneezing  &c  it  will  come  away  easily. 

Mercatus  lib.  4.  cap.  4.  fol.  521  inquit,  Primb  considerandum  est, 
an  incuria  obstetricis,  vel  aha  occasione,  secunda  intrb  se  receperit,  et,  an 
ab  utero  separata  sit,  aut  alicui  parti  affixa  Turn,  quidem,  ante  aliud 
auxilium,  sinistram  manum  oleo  lilior.  albor.,  aut  dialthsese  illitam  in  pro- 
fundum  uteri  obstetrix  hnmittat,  et  captam  secundinam  leniter  alliciat. 
Quod  si  in  ejus  extractione,  plurimum  sanguinis  fluat,  laudatur  karabe 
pulverizati  3J  in  vino,  quod  urinas  moveat,  secundas  pellat,  et  sanguinem 
fluentem  sistat.  Prseterea  de  numero  eorum  auxiliorum,  quse  ad 
secundar.  propulsionem  plurimum  valere  comperimus,  unum  porro  ster- 
nutatio  est,  ut  millies,  experimento  facillimo,  confirmari  potest.  Dr. 
Harvey  saith  fol.  520,  That  the  secondine  being  torn  off  from  the  womb, 
the  greater  part  of  the  blood,  which  flowes  afterwards,  doth  issue,  not 
from  the  conception,  but  from  the  uterus  it  self. 

I  received  this  letter  July  the  17.  1670. 


On  Munday  last  was  moneth,  about  nine  of  the  clock  in  the 
morning,  my  wife  had  a  miscarriage,  I  being  then  gone  to  London  a 
day,  or  two  before.     And  shee  tells  mee,  That,  about  a  fortnight  after 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

her  miscarriage,  shee  being  very  weak,  and  not  very  well  at  stomach, 
had  some  cordiall,  and  also  purgative  things  prescribed,  and,  amongst 
other  things,  a  certain  quantity  of  Axon  root,  of  which  shee  had  not 
taken  above  twice,  or  thrice,  before  shee  begun  to  bee  seized  with  a 
violent  flux  of  blood,  which  hath  ever  since  come  in  great  quantities ; 
once,  at  lest,  but,  for  the  most  part,  twice  in  24  houres,  with  many 
lumps,  as  it  were,  of  clottered  blood.  Her  distemper,  as  to  the  flux  of 
blood,  is  not  altogether  so  violent,  as  it  hath  been.  But  shee  is  very 
weak,  sick  at  stomach,  troubled  with  pain,  sometimes  in  her  armes,  and, 
at  other  times,  in  her  breast,  and  head.  Shee  takes  very  little  sleep, 
and  is  much  troubled  with  something,  that  seemes  to  arise  from  her 
stomach  into  her  throat,  and  almost  takes  away  her  breath.  Shee  was 
never  troubled  with  any  fits  of  the  mother,  and  shee  tells  mee,  shee  is 
certain  that  all  came  cleare  away  after  the  miscarriage.  All  which  makes 
mee  more  doubtfull  of  the  cause  of  her  distemper,  and  very  desirous  of 
your  advice  in  the  busines.  I  would,  therefore,  earnestly  intreat  you, 
if,  by  any  meanes,  you  can,  to  do  mee  the  kindnes,  as  to  come  over 
hither,  which  I  shall  take  as  a  great  obligation.  But,  if  any  unavoidable 
occasions  will  not  permit  you  to  come  at  present,  yet  bee  pleased  to 
send  mee  such  directions,  and  prescriptions,  as  you  shall  judge  conveni- 
ent.     But,  if,  by  any  meanes,  you  can  come,  you  can  no  way  more  obliege 

Your  affectionate  friend 
W.  S. 

I  was  not,  at  that  time,  permitted  to  go  unto  her.  Before  the 
Apothecary  had  prepared  my  prescripts,  directed  for  her  recovery,  shee 
became  well,  and  the  flux  of  blood  stayed  a  fortnight.  After  this  time 
shee  againe  flouded  violently. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Through  my  son's  comming  to  supply  my  place,  I  was  permitted 
to  visit  this  worthy  good  woman.  The  day  before  I  came  the  flux  of 
blood  stayed.  Shee  willed  the  women  to  keep,  and  to  shew  mee  what 
came  from  her,  the  day  afore,  with  the  blood.  They  brought  me  a  bason 
of  water,  in  which  severall  skins,  and  lumps  of  flesh  were  swimming  in 
the  water.     After  this  shee  had  no  more  issues  of  bloud. 

Many  good  medicines  bee  blamed  without  any  just  cause.  The 
cordiall,  to  which  the  Aron  roots  were  added,  was  to  comfort,  and 
to  strengthen  the  stomach,  and  to  cleanse  the  womb. 

And,  had  not  these  fleshy  lumps,  and  skins  come  away,  and  so 
the  womb  purged  of  the  remaining  part  of  the  secondine,  in  probability, 
shee  would  have  fallen  into  severall  distemperatures,  and,  at  the  last, 
some  ulcer,  or  cancer,  or  mortification  would  have  seized  on  the  womb, 
and  have  ruinated  her  body.  I  caused  a  larg  plaister  of  crude  Galba- 
num  to  bee  laid  upon  her  navel,  to  suppresse  the  vapours. 

I  gave  her,  in  the  morning,  the  powder  of  prepared  amber,  mixt 
with  the  yolk  of  an  egge,  and  a  little  nutmeg,  to  cleanse  the  womb. 

To  keep  her  body  open,  sometimes  at  night  shee  took  a  few 
graines  of  pil.  cephalica  magistralis,  as  graines  three,  to  which  (if  more 
need  required)  a  scruple  of  rhubarb  powdered  was  added.  This  gave 
her  two,  or  three  stools  the  next  morning,  without  any  offence,  not,  any 
way,  disquieting  her  body. 

When  shee  could  not  sleep,  shee  took,  sometimes,  two,  or  three 
graines  of  pil.  pacifica  hora  somni. 

This  pil  is  a  great  cordial,  it  quieteth  the  raging  humours,  and 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

ber the 
of  Che- 


of  blood. 


stoppeth  violent  flaxes  of  blood,  without  hindering  the  cleansing  of  the 

Thus,  through  God's  permission,  and  mercy,  shee  was  soon  re- 

Though  a  great  part  of  the  after-burden  was  taken  away  by  the 
midwife's  hand,  yet  some  part  remained  in  her  body,  as  was  made  mani- 
fest by  the  lumps  of  flesh,  and  the  bloud,  which  came,  and  issued  from 
her  after  so  long  a  time. 

It  also  comforteth  a  weake,  consumptive  body,  and  keepeth  the 
woman  from  miscarrying;  but  when  labour  approacheth,  it  then  doth 
not  hinder,  or  put  off  labour,  but  helpeth  the  woman  to  bee  more  easily 

Goodwife  Menil. 

Fluxes  of  blood,  before,  in,  and  after  delivery,  bee  dangerous,  and 
hazard  the  lives  of  severall  women ;  and,  as  some  live,  so  many  perish 
of  this  infirmity. 

Alice,  the  wife  of  Edmund  Fern,  of  upper  Bonsall,  after  two 
moneths  going  with  child,  had  the  reds  appearing  on  her,  after  the 
usuall  manner  of  monethly  courses,  for  foure  moneths  together,  but 
they  ever  stopt  at  night. 

Then,  after  this  time,  every  three  weeks,  and  that  in  abundance, 
yet  they  stopt  alwayes  at  night. 

About  a  fortnight  before  her  labour,  shee  had  the  reds,  flowing 
for  three  dayes  together  very  many,  every  morning,  but  they  alwayes 
stopt  at  night. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Shee  had  some  grumbling  pains  Sep.  the  24  1661.  Her  waters 
gathered,  and  flowed  Sep.  27,  breaking  without  enforcement.  After 
this  shee  continued  in  paine. 

I  came  to  her  September  the  30th,  about  foure  in  the  afternoon, 
and  found  her  weeping,  and  walking  in  her  house.  All  these  passages 
shee  related  to  mee,  despairing  much  of  her  life,  and  still  continuing  in 

I  desired  her  to  lie  down  upon  her  truckle-bed,  and  covered  her 
with  a  blanket.  I  anointed  her  back  with  oile  of  charity,  and  laid  em- 
plastrum  de  smegmate  on  it.  I  anointed  the  anus,  and  the  birth-place 
with  Balsamum  Hystericum,  and  found,  that,  with  straining,  shee  had 
much  thrust  forth  the  piles. 

I  conveyed  a  spoonfull  of  Balsamum  Hystericum  to  the  mouth  of 
the  matrix.  I  gave  her  a  clyster  of  milk,  made  with  sugar,  turpentine, 
and  the  yolk  of  an  egge,  in  respect  that  the  birth  of  the  child  seemed 
to  bee  far  off. 

But  shee  could  not  keep  it.  Her  paines  increasing,  I  conveyed 
more  of  the  Balsamum  Hystericum  into  the  passages  of  the  womb. 

Quickly,  after  this,  shee  was  delivered,  and  was  troubled  no  more 
with  any  flux  of  blood. 

Being  put  into  her  bed  I  gave  her  a  spoonfull  of  oile  of  charity. 
By  it's  virtue,  shee  was  freed  of  all  the  sufferings  of  the  after  paines. 

The  child  was  weak  when  it  was  born,  and  some  of  the  women 
would  have  it  dead  before  shee  was  delivered. 

I  dissolved  hard  white  sugar  in  small  cinamon  water,  and,  after- 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

wards,  put  some  Balsamum  Hystericum  to  it.  I  gave  it  a  spoonfull  of 
this  mixture.  The  child  recovered,  aud  that  night  was  christened,  and 
was  named  Mary. 

I  heard  from  tins  woman  three  moneths  afterwards,  and,  then, 
both  mother,  and  child  were  living,  and  in  good  health.  Such  a  vari- 
able, and  continuing  flux  of  blood  I  never  heard  of  afore,  and  that  both 

Saturday  Feb.  the  first  1667,  Mary,  the  wife  of  Roger  Earing, 
of  S.  Albnan's  parish  in  Darby,  being  great  with  child,  flouded,  and 
complained  of  great  pain,  that  girded  her  under  her  stomach,  which  was 
removed  by  an  ordinary  clyster. 

I  gave  her  filipendula  roots  poudered,  with  white  amber  prepared, 
and  a  few  graines  of  an  unripe  gall  in  a  caudle,  with  nutmeg,  and  sugar. 
But  the  medicine  did  little  good. 

Shee  flouded,  with  intermissions,  five  dayes  ;  and,  the  sixth  day  in 
the  afternoon,  violently,  in  great  quantity,  with  clots  of  blood.  It  gave 
over  for  foure  houres.  At  night,  about  ten  of  the  clock,  shee  was  sud- 
denly delivered  with  little  paine,  and  then  shee  lost  more  blood ;  but  it 
stopt  of  it  self. 

Her  midwife  endeavoured  to  bring  away  the  after-burden,  and  had 
much  lacerated  it.     But,  fearing  her  life,  left  off  farther  proceedings. 

I  was  again  sent  for.  I  fetched  away  a  great  part  of  it,  and  durst 
not  struggle,  or  search  any  more  for  the  rest.  And,  to  prevent  farther 
flouding,  I  gave  her  the  white  and  yolk  of  an  egge  beaten  together,  and 
mixt  with  a  caudle,  to  drink. 

Shee  oft  fainted,  but,  by  spirting  aqua  vitas  into  her  nostrils,  shee 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


still  revived.  Shee  looked  very  pale,  and  was  thirsty,  and  weake, 
desiring  drink.  I  gave  her  again  the  caudle  with  the  egge.  Shee  con- 
tinued all  that  night  sickish,  and  fainting ;  but  was  still  preserved  by 
spirting  aqua  vitse  into  her  nostrils. 

About  two  houres  after  my  comming,  I  gave  her  pulvis  Castorei 
compositus  with  mithridate,  and  more  caudle  to  drink.  Shee  was,  in  a 
manner,  senseles,  but  revived  much  at  the  taking  of  the  medicine.  Shee 
slept  well  the  latter  part  of  the  night.  The  next  morning,  the  other 
part  of  the  after-burden  came  away,  when  shee  made  water.  After  the 
taking  of  the  egge  shee  nouded  no  more. 

Her  child  was  weak,  yet  it  did  suck,  and  seemed  to  gather 
strength.     It  lived  two  dayes,  and  then  died. 

Though  these  children  may  seeme  lively,  yet  they  hardly  live  after 
flouding.     But,  for  the  most  part,  usually,  they  bee  all  still-born. 

There  was  a  young  Gentlewoman  after  her  delivery,  that,  all  the 
time  of  her  moneth,  and,  afterwards,  lost  much  blood,  with  clottered 
lumps,  which  pashed  from  her,  and  this  infirmity  continued  some  seven 
weeks.  I  gave  her  the  prepared  powder  of  white  amber,  with  the  yolk 
of  an  egge.  This  medicine  did  little  good.  I  added  to  it  the  powder 
of  filipendula  roots.  It  did  not  prevaile.  At  last  I  put  to  it  the  powder 
of  an  unripe  gall,  and,  in  thrice  taking,  it  quite  stopt  the  flux,  and  the 
medicine  was  thus  composed. 

ft  pul.  succini  3j  pul.  rad.  fihpend.  3s  pul.  gal.  immatur.  gr.  yj  np 
Shee  took  this  in  a  caudle. 

If  need  require,  augment  the  powder  of  the  gall.  Remember 
Lucy  Yaughan,  abundance  of  great  clotted  lumps  of  blood. 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


Audly  was 

the  other 



In  the  yeare  1637 

I  was  sent  for  by  a  right  Honorable  Countess,  that  had  gone  with 
child  some  twelve  or  fourteen  weekes.  Shee  had  suffered  a  flux  of 

To  prevent  miscarrying  I  let  her  blood,  and  gave  her  astringent 
cordials,  and  juleps,  intreating  her  Honour  to  stirre  little,  and  to  lie,  or 
rest  much  on  her  pallet-bed.  By  tins  course  the  flux  was  stopt  for  a 
fortnight,  and  then  it  began  again. 

Her  Honour  was  too  squeamish,  to  her  great  prejudice.  There- 
fore I  desired  my  Lord  to  grant  mee  some  assistance.  So  two  Doctors 
of  Physic  were  sent  for.  One  of  them  conceived  that  the  Countesse 
was  not  with  child.  But  I  imagined  the  contrary,  and  the  event  proved 
him  deceived  m  his  opinion. 

After  some  seven,  or  eight  dayes  they  left  her  (as  was  supposed) 
indifferent  well.  But  that  afternoon,  shee  grew  ill,  and  was  all  over  her 
body  very  cold,  and  shivered. 

I  desired  her  Honour  to  be  pleased  to  go  into  bed,  and  I  put  severall 
stone  bottles,  filled  with  hot  water,  about  her,  wrapped  in  napkins. 
These  caused  a  great  sweat,  and,  in  it,  came  from  her,  ab  utero,  very 
noisome  purgings,  and  a  sharp  feaver  seized  on  her.  I  desired  my  Lord 
to  send  for  her  physicians  again. 

One  of  them  came,  and,  after  his  comming,  shee  suffered  a  great 
flux  of  blood,  and  then  hee  would  have  her  let  blood  again.  At  which 
my  Lord  was  troubled.  Tor  this  Dr.  had  formerly  (but  in  private)  in- 
formed my  Lord,  That  I  had  don  ill  to  let  her  blood,  and  that  now 
(forgetting  liimself)  hee  would  have  let  her  blood  againe.     My  Lord 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


would  have  had  mee  to  have  called  him  knave,  for  his  private  wronging 
mee,  with  his  backbiting  words.  But  I  was  silent,  and  did  not  obey 
my  Lord's  command,  although  he  deserved  ill  at  my  hands. 

At  this  Doctor's  command,  her  arm  was  bound,  and  I  ready  to 
open  the  vene.  But  her  Honour  willed  us  to  forbeare,  and  to  retire. 
So  I  loosed  the  ligature. 

Shee  used  her  close-stoole,  and  filled  nigh  a  fourth  part  of  it  with 
blood,  the  which  the  Dr.  seing,  he  desisted  from  letting  her  blood. 

This  Dr.  gave  her,  sometimes,  purges,  at  other  times,  cordials. 
And,  I  think,  hee  was  puzled  in  his  judgment,  for  that  shee  continued 
flouding,  but  not  in  so  violent  a  manner. 

And  shee  oft  avoided  some  small  lumps  of  flesh,  with  severall 
substances,  like  the  stalkes  of  raisins,  hard,  and  blackish,  the  which  I 
shewed  to  him,  and  desired  to  know  what  these  might  signifie.  But  hee 
would  give  mee  no  answer,  not  knowing  what  to  say,  or  think.  After 
this  followed  much  griping  pain  in  her  belly,  whereupon  it  was  anointed 
with  the  oile  of  mace,  and  sweet  almonds,  and  the  oile  of  nutmegs. 
And,  afterwards,  was  applied  a  pancake,  by  his  directions,  made  of  twice 
so  many  yolks  of  egges,  with  half  their  whites,  in  which,  by  beating, 
was  mixt  some  caroway  seeds  bruised,  and  turpentine,  and  so  fried  in  a 
pan  with  butter,  and  oile,  without  stirring,  which,  between  two  thin  linen 
cloths,  was  applied  warme  to  the  belly.  And  that  day  came  from  her 
an  abortion,  putrefied,  having  the  armes  and  legs  rotted  off.  Afterward 
came  severall  lumps  of  the  after-birth  with  blood.  Shee  suffered  severall 
relapses,  but,  at  last,  her  Honour  was  recovered,  and,  afterwards,  shee 
conceived  again,  and,  in  due  time,  had  a  son,  now  living,  Anno  1669. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

A  brother  in  law,  a  very  loving  friend,  and  a  well-wisher  to  his 
wife's  sister,  came  behind  his  sister  in  law,  and,  in  a  sporting  way,  put- 
ting his  hands  under  her  armes,  and  breasts,  lifted  her  from  the  ground, 
and  gave  her  two  or  three  jogs,  or  shakes.  Shee,  being  then  with  child, 
within  few  weeks  afterwards,  shee  fiouded,  and,  so  miscarried.  And 
this  affliction  did  adhere  unto  her  body,  and  nigh  the  time  of  her  de- 
livery, shee  alwayes  miscarried  of  severall  children. 

So  it  is  made  manifest,  That  any  violent  motion  is  hurtfull,  and 
dangerous  to  women  with  child. 

Being  great  with  child,  and  having  not  long  to  go,  shee  came  to 
mee,  in  hopes,  to  prevent  this  miscarrying.  I  was  not  willing  then  to 
trouble  her  with  medicines,  but  promised  her  to  use  my  best  endeavours 
for  her  delivery. 

Not  long  after,  shee  sent  unto  mee,  to  let  mee  know,  That  her 
waters  were  broken ;  but,  for  that  Shee  was  in  no  pain,  shee  permitted 
mee  the  favour  to  keep  my  bed. 

Some  foure  houres  after  I  went  unto  her,  about  nine  in  the  morn- 
ing, and,  finding  her  to  rest  quietly,  and  void  of  pain,  I  was  not  willing 
to  trouble  her,  but  I  onely  desired  to  see  some  of  her  wet  closiers.  Shee 
brought  forth  one  full  of  blood  from  her  body,  (the  which  shee  supposed 
had  been  but  wetted  with  her  water)  and  her  bed,  and  linens  were  filled 
with  much  blood.  Whereupon  I  removed  her  into  a  dry  bed,  and  the 
flux  was  stopped. 

Two,  or  three  dayes  after  I  delivered  her,  but  the  child  was  borne 
dead  January  the  eighteenth,  1665,  the  winch,  I  conceive,  perished  in 
the  flux  of  blood,  that  shee  last  suffered. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  sent  her  case  unto  a  worthy  Gentleman,,  being  a  learned,  and  ex- 
pert Doctor  in  Physick,  and  hee  returned  answer,  That  there  would  bee 
but  small  hopes  of  better  succes,  and  that  shee  was  ever  likely  to  mis- 

It  was  my  good  hap  to  read  a  story  in  this  kind,  and  I  resolved  to 
make  use  of  it. 

And,  contrary  to  hope,  after  that  shee  was  again  quick  with  child, 
according  to  my  Auctor's  prescript,  I  gave  her  twice  a  week  a  strength- 
ening trochise,  that  was,  withall,  a  little  purging,  which  gave  her  two, 
or  three  stooles  those  dayes,  that  shee  took  it,  purging  gently,  not  at  all 
disquieting  her  body;  and  a  drying  diet  drink,  which  shee  drank  of 
every  day. 

Shee  went  forth  her  full  time,  and  was  freed  of  flouding,  and  of 
the  danger  of  miscarrying,  and  was  happily  delivered,  by  her  midwife,  of 
a  living  daughter,  that,  at  this  instant,  is  strong,  and  spritefull,  and,  in 
probability,  likely  long  to  live  167^. 

Since  that  time,  shee  conceived  again.  I  would  have  had  her  to 
have  used  the  same  medicines  the  second  time,  but  shee  was  not  willing 
to  follow  my  requests,  yet  shee  went  forth  her  full  time  without  any 
issue  of  blood,  and  was  delivered  of  another  daughter,  that  was  born 
alive,  but  the  child,  being  weake,  it  lived  about  eleven  dayes,  and  then 

I  beleeve  that  this  weak  child  might  have  lived,  if  that  shee  had 
taken  the  same  course  the  second  time,  as  was  desired. 

My  Auctor  mentioneth  the  same  passage  in  his  report,  Hee  would 
have  had  his  patient  to  have  taken  the  same  course  againe  the  fifth  time, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 




but  shee  hearkened  not.     So  when  her  time  came,  shee  was  brought  to 
bed  of  a  dead  child. 

February  the  12  1668  I  came  to  a  Gentlewoman,  that  was  gone 
some  twelve  weeks  with  child.  Shee  had  suffered  a  great  pash,  or  flow- 
ing of  the  reds,  but  it  stopt  of  itself  that  night.  I  stayed  with  her  six 
dayes,  and,  in  all  that  time,  shee  was  no  way  disquieted  in  her  body,  and 
so  I  returned  to  my  house. 

Some  weeks  after  this,  shee  had  some  small  driblings  of  the  waters, 
and  was  perswaded,  by  the  midwife,  that  tins  watery  flux  was  no  more, 
but  what  was  familiarly  incident  to  women  with  child,  and  that  shee 
would  do  well  with  it.  Upon  her  assurance,  neglecting  her  owne  safety, 
shee  took  a  journey,  riding  in  her  coach,  and  went  to  visit  her  friends, 
and  kindred  in  the  April  following.  Upon  this  journey,  the  waters 
issued  in  a  larger  quantity,  and  so  increasing  by  the  space  of  seven 
weeks.     After  her  journey  shee  miscarried. 

June  22,  1669. 

A  worthy,  good  woman,  having  gone  six  moneths,  or  longer,  with 
child,  whether  upon  a  fright,  or  otherwise,  had  on  her  a  dribling  of  the 
waters  for  severall  weeks  continuance.  Shee  acquainted  nobody,  but 
her  midwife,  of  this  her  infirmity,  for  which  her  midwife  gave  her 
drinks,  assuring  her,  That  this  flux  was  nothing  else,  but  the  whites. 

But  this  flux  continuing,  and  daily  increasing,  did  cause  an  abor- 
tion. Her  midwife  made  a  great  bustle  to  fetch  away  the  after-birth, 
and,  with  her  strivings,  shee  caused  a  flux  of  blood. 

The  midwife's  doings  put  this  Gentlewoman  to  much  pain,  where- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


upon  this  good  woman,  with  others  of  the  company,  desired  that  I 
should  bee  sent  for. 

At  my  comming,  the  midwife  told  mee,  That  shee  had  brought 
part  of  the  after-burden  away,  and  that  shee  feared  that  the  other  part 
was  left  in  her  body. 

Some  of  the  women  thought  that  I  would  have  made  a  new 
searching  for  it.     But  I  did  not  offer  any  such  thing,  or  doings. 

I  desired  her  to  keep  her  bed,  and  to  He  warm,  and  quiet,  and, 
when  shee  could,  to  sleep.  I  also  willed  her,  if  that  shee  felt  any  pain 
in  her  belly,  at  that  time  to  hold  her  breath,  and  gently  to  force  her  self, 
as  though  shee  would  endeavour  to  breake  wind,  and,  at  those  times,  to 
stroke  down  her  belly. 

In  the  morning,  after  this  night's  rest,  shee  was  desirous  to  make 
water,  at  winch  time  the  other  part  of  the  after-burden  came  away,  and 
dropped  into  the  chamber-pot,  and  shee  since  is  well  recovered. 

When  waters  issue,  and  dribble  long,  bee  assured  that  the  mem- 
branes bee  thin,  or  are  cracked,  through  which  the  waters  leake ;  and, 
if  it  will  not  bee  stopped,  abortion  will  assuredly  follow.  Shee  hath 
beene  since  delivered  of  a  living  son. 

Dr.  Harvey  saith  fol.  521 

I  have  often  seen  waters  burst  forth  in  the  midst  of  the  going 
with  child,  without  abortion,  the  child  remaining  safe,  and  strong,  even 
to  the  birth. 

But  hee  maketh  no  mention,  what  the  event  may  prove,  if  it  con- 
tinue any  time. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

May  the  twenty  third  1669  Mrs  Mary  Mercer  had  a  flux  of  the 
reds.  Shee  sent  unto  rnee,  and  desired  my  directions.  But,  afore  her 
messenger  returned,  the  flux  stayed,  so  shee  took  nothing  at  that  time. 

Shee  flouded  again  June  22  violently,  from  ten  in  the  morning, 
untill  foure  in  the  afternoon,  at  which  time  came  from  her  a  lump  of  flesh, 
resembling  a  chicken's  liver,  and  then  the  flux  ceased.  I  came  to  her 
about  twelve  that  night,  and  her  mother  shewed  mee  this  lump  of  flesh. 

But  her  paines  continued,  and  would  not  suffer  her  to  sleep,  or  to 
take  any  rest.  The  next  morning  shee  cried  out  of  the  pain  in  her  belly, 
and  back. 

I  thought  that  shee  might  bee  in  strong  labour.  After  searching, 
I  found  the  womb  open,  and  the  child  unbedded.  Within  a  little  space, 
afterwards,  shee  was  delivered,  by  her  own  strength,  through  nature's 
enforcements,  of  a  very  little  child,  which  was  living,  and  forthwith 
baptized.  It  was  wrapt  in  clouts,  not  otherwise  dressed,  and  laid  aside, 
supposed  to  bee  dead,  presently  after  that  it  was  baptized. 

But  an  houre  after  it  was  heard  to  cry.  Then  more  care  was 
taken  to  put  it  into  warmer  cloths. 

This  child  was  very  small,  and  about  some  thirteen,  or  fourteene 
inches  long,  of  which  shee  miscarried  about  the  sixth  moneth. 

The  child  would  suck  milk,  and  water,  mixed  together,  from  a 
spoon,  and  died  between  seven  and  eight  the  next  morning,  about  the 
same  houre,  in  which  it  was  born. 

I  beleeve,  That,  in  these  fluxes  of  blood,  and  driblets  of  water, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


that  the  womb  is  alwayes  open ;  If  water  issue  onely,  then  the  mem- 
branes to  bee  cracked,  or  grown  very  thin,  and  so,  leasurely,  the  water 
leakes  forth. 

If  blood  onely,  then  some  part  of  the  after-birth  to  bee  loosed, 
and  separated  from  adhering  to  the  sides  of  the  womb. 

When  blood  issueth  forth  in  a  larg  quantity,  it  is  good  to  deliver 
the  woman  speedily.  Otherwise,  through  the  long  continuance  of  the 
losse  of  much  blood,  the  woman  is  likely  to  perish. 

I  conceive  that  the  circulation  of  the  blood,  passing  through  the 
venes  of  the  secondine,  (called  the  placenta  uterina)  being  separated 
from  some  part  of  the  womb,  and  having  their  orifices  laid  open,  do  cause 
tins  flouding ;  for  that  the  flux  ceaseth,  when  that  the  placenta  uterina 
is  totally  separated,  and  drawn  forth  of  the  body. 

Eluxes  of  blood  too  frequently  prove  fatal!. 

I  knew  three  good  women,  the  first  flouded  1665,  the  second 
flouded  1666;  The  third  flouded  1667.  And  this  flux  of  blood  con- 
tinued, with  some  intermissions,  for  three,  or  foare  weekes.  These  women 
hoped,  that  the  flux  would  have  ceased  of  it  self.  But,  through  the  oft 
returning,  with  the  losse  of  much  blood,  they  all  (seeking  for  no  help) 
died  undelivered,  none  mistrusting  any  danger  of  death. 

If  the  flouding  come  from  the  outward  part  (or  the  vagina  uteri) 
the  womb  is  closed,  and  the  woman  hath  no  throwes,  or  likelyhood  of 
delivery,  having  no  paines. 

In  this  case,  it  is  not  needfull  to  meddle  with  the  woman,  by 
using  forcible  wayes  to  cause  delivery. 





7:  8:  9: 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

But  you  must  proceed  to  medicines,  internally,  and  externally 
used,  or  applied,  to  eoole  the  body,  and  stay  the  flux  of  blood ;  in  which, 
before  the  evil  hath  had  too  long  a  continuance,  take  the  counsell  of  a 
learned  Physician. 

I  knew  a  learned  physician,  that  used  such  prescripts,  as  followeth. 

R  aq.  plantag.  liss.  syr.  de  symph.  de  corallis  aa  3j  SJ*-  de 
papav.  et  portul.  aa  5s  1f9?  fiat  julap.  capiat  ^iij  pro  vice,  hora  qualibet 

Emplastrum  ad  herniam  q.  s.  cujus  circuitus  obducatur  galbano. 
Apphcetur  umbilici  regioni  statim. 

I£  mosch.  gr.  ij  cons.  flor.  consolid.  q.  s.  fiant  pil.  et  deaurentur 

B  bol.  Armen.  et  lap.  Hoematit.  subtilissime  pulv.  aa  3s.  sang, 
draconis,  succi  alb.  coral,  rub.  pp.  aa  3j  s.  a.  fiat  pulvis  subtilissimus, 
add.  sacch.  rosati  ad  pondus  omnium,  pro  vice  capiat  9j.  statim  a 
sanguinis  missione,  et  repetatur  hora  somni,  et  sic  postea  mane,  et  serb 
superbibat  haustum  posset,  decoct,  fol.  plantag.  et  symph. 

Hora  somni  sumat  Diacod.  3s  m  haustu  posset,  prescript,  assu- 
mendo  prius  dosin  pulver.  prescript. 

Hee  alwayes  caused  to  bee  in  a  readines  thin  cinamon  water  3iij- 
Also  sp.  castor.  3s. 

The  juice  of  mints,  boiled  in  water,  and  sweetened  with  fine 
sugar,  and  drunk  three  dayes  together,  cureth  the  pain  in  the  belly,  and 
colick,  and  stoppeth  the  inordinate  issue  of  menstruous  blood. 

By  the  counsell  of  three  Doctors  in  physic  this  prescript  following 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


was  prescribed  for  an  Honourable  good  Lady,  that  was  troubled 
with  great  weaknes,  and  too  abundant  over-flowing  of  the  menstruous 

ft  coral,  rub.  et  margar.  prepar.  aa  3rj  lapid.  Hsemat.  ter.  sigill. 
croci  Martis  aa,  3ij  oculor.  cancr.  3j  spodii  eboris  aa  3js  ol.  nuc.  mos- 
chatse  per  expressionem  gut.  iiij  sacchar.  ^iiij  aq.  rosar.  q.  s.  fiant 

The  juice  of  bursa  pastoris,  given  to  drink,  is  much  commended 
by  women  to  stay  this  flux. 

Purvis  Stegnoticus  Dni  Caspari  Guttuarii  descript.  a  Philippo 
Hectistetetero  fol.  2. 

ft  succin.  alb.  pp.  corn.  cerv.  usti  aa  3i  lapid.  setit.  nuclei  in- 
terioris  3J  lapid.  hsemat.  pp.  corallor.  rubror.  solutor.  terr.  sigillat.  verse 
aa  5J  Corneoli  pp.  3j  omnia  in  pulverem  tenuissimum  redacta  19? 
Dabit  adultis  in  magno  fluore,  maxime  post  partuin,  drachmam  unam, 
in  aliis  tantundem.  In  dysenteriis,  etiam  diarrhseis,  et  aliis  fluxibus,  aut 
hsernorrhagiis,  junioribus  drachmam  semis,  aut  pro  setate,  eum  conveni- 

R  pulveris  stegnotici  3J  aq.  plantag.  utrivsq,  burs,  pastoris,  tor- 
mentil.  aa  5J  tabel.  manus  cbristi  perlatse  %s  iy>  fiat  haustus.  Terri- 
bilem  sanguinis  fluxum  a  quovis  loco  sistit.     penis  12. 

Quidam  felicissime  usus  est  syr.  de  plantag.  simpl.  in  penis 
hsemorrhagia  sine  febre  et  calculo,  ubi,  ob  dilatat.  colatorimn,  sanguis 
fluxit.  Est  omnis  hsemorrhagia  in  tali  casu  maligna  calamitosa  imb 
ssepissime  lethalis. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Laudauit  olim  inagnus  ille  Pharmacopeeus  Sigarhes  junior  syrupum 
de  plantagine  compositum  in  hsemorrhagiis,  cujus  heec  est  descriptio. 

I£  succ.  plantag.  ^viij  aq.  rosar.  li.  ij  spodii,  nucis  cupressi,  balau 
stior.  sumach,  sang.  drac.  gum.  arab.  mastiches,  olib.  gallar.  hypocestid. 
eboris,  lapid.  hsemat.  aa  5§  sacchar.  q.  s.  fiat  artis  lege  syrupus.  Philip- 
pus  Heckstetterus  in  casu  tertio  in  nimia  hsemorrhagia  narium,  et  penis 
lethalis  fol.  10. 

Dr  Wilham  Sermon  fol.  150  of  the  English  midwife  saith 

R.  of  the  distilled  water  of  hog's  dung  4  spoonfull  at  a  time,  iij  or 
iiij  times.  Or  give  to  the  woman  foure  or  five  graines  of  the  ashes  of 
a  toad  in  the  water  aforesaid,  and  it  prevaileth,  when  no  other  medicine 
will  take  place,  and  will  stop  any  other  flux  of  blood,  taken,  as  aforesaid. 
With  this  very  medicine,  hee  saith,  I  have  cured  many,  by  giving  it  in- 
wardly, and  by  bloAving  it  up  into  the  nostrils  of  such,  as  have  been,  as  it 
were,  dead  by  bleeding  at  the  nose.  And  it  is  as  safe  as  new  milk,  if  it 
bee  well  prepared. 

And  fol.  152.  You  may,  with  a  syring,  inject  the  juices  of 
comfry,  and  plantane  into  the  womb.  Or,  dissolve  a  small  quantity  of 
gum  Dragon,  and  gum  arabick  in  plantane  water,  and  inject  it  into  the 
womb.  Or,  take  amber,  dragons  blood,  sealed  earth,  pomegranate  pils, 
fine  bole,  galls,  red  roses,  frankincense,  comfry  roots  of  each  a  like 
quantity,  make  them  into  fine  powder,  and,  with  the  juice  of  comphry, 
make  it  into  a  past,  mixing  therewith  a  little  cotton,  and  make  a  pessary 
thereof,  about  the  length  of  a  woman's  finger,  and  put  it  up  into  the 
womb.  This  doth  not  onely  stop  the  violent  flax  of  blood,  but  also 
contracts  the  secret  parts  to  the  same  narrownes,  as  they  were  before  the 
bringing  forth  of  the  children. 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


[These  bee  the  sayings  of  Dr  Wm  Sermon,  in  whose  English  mid- 
wife, or  Ladie's  Companion,  bee  severall  good  notes,  worthy  to  bee 
taken  notice  of,  and  followed  by  such,  as  know  how  to  make  use  of  good 

Mrs.  Jane  Sharpe  commendeth  a  strong  decoction  of  the  roots, 
and  leaves  of  plantane,  after  that  it  is  clarified  with  whites  of  egges, 
and  made  into  a  syrup.  Dosis,  a  spoonful,  or  two,  in  violet  water,  or 
water  of  lillies.     Pol.  206  :  her  6  book. 

"  Ex  libris  nemo  evasit  artifex  no  man  becomes  a  workman  by  book. 
So  that  unles  they  have  had  some  insight  in  the  art,  and  bee,  in  some 
sort,  acquainted  both  with  the  termes  of  art,  as  also  with  the  knowledg  and 
use  of  the  instrument  thereto  belonging,  if,  by  reading  this,  or  any  other 
book  of  the  like  nature,  they  become  chirurgions,  I  must  needs  liken  them 
(as  Galen  doth  another  sort  of  men)  to  pilots  by  book  onely ;  to  whose  care, 
I  think,  none  of  us  would  commit  his  safety  at  sea ;  nor  any,  if  wise, 
will  commit  themselves  to  these  at  land,  or  sea  either,  unles  wholly 
destitute  of  others.'" 

At  all  times,  the  losse  of  much  blood,  or  flouding  is  dangerous 
in  women  with  child,  and  in  severall  of  them,  both  mother  and  child 
have  perished. 

In  the  year  1632  I  was  sent  for  to  a  worthy  good  woman,  being 
great  with  child.  Shee  had  an  issue  of  blood,  not  continually,  but  oft 
flowing  from  her.  In  probability,  it  came  from  the  venes  in  vagina  uteri. 
Shee  had  a  good,  fresh  countenance,  and  was  the  mother  of  many 

That  night,  in  which  I  came  unto  her,  I  intreated  her  to  bee 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

pleased  to  take  a  mollifying  clyster,  to  facilitate  her  birth,  and  to  coole 
her  body.     For,  at  that  time,  shee  had  the  issue  of  blood  on  her. 

But  shee  was  unwilling,  and  desired  to  bee  quiet  that  night. 
Before  morning,  shee  had  lost  much  blood,  and,  in  the  morning,  the 
waters  flowed,  and,  then,  the  issue  of  blood  stayed.  Shee  was  very 
faint,  yet,  in  her  weaknes,  the  child  had  entered  through  a  great  part  of 
the  bones,  and  would  come  no  farther  by  nature's  enforcement,  nor  was 
shee  any  more  releeved  by  her  midwife. 

Being  much  moved  by  the  Knight  that  brought  mee  thither,  as 
also  by  her  good,  and  loving  Husband,  being  unwilling  to  use  any 
violence,  I  objected,  what  if  the  child  should  bee  alive  ?  Her  husband 
prayed  mee  to  use  any  meanes  to  save  his  wife's  life,  and  a  Priest,  stand- 
ing by  him,  willed  mee,  whether  the  child  should  bee  living,  or  dead, 
to  proceed,  not  valuing  the  child's  life,  saying,  That,  without  all  doubt, 
the  child  already  was,  or  shortly  would  bee  a  Saint  in  heaven.  Where- 
upon I  went  unto  the  Gentlewoman,  and  with  her  desire,  and  consent, 
I  drew  the  child  with  the  crochet,  and  shee  was  quickly  delivered.  So 
soon  as  shee, was  delivered,  shee  desired  Dr.  Mountford's  water,  and 
drank  a  draught  of  it.  Shee  did  not  floud  afterwards,  yet  fainted  away 
by  degrees,  and  died  some  five  houres  after  in  the  night,  through  the 
losse  of  much  blood,  which,  formerly,  shee  had  suffered. 

The  child  was  dead  before  I  drew  it.  The  child  was  faire,  and 
great,  and  it  had  no  ill  savour,  and  it  was  not,  in  any  part,  flayed,  or  the 
skin  gon  off  the  body. 

Goodwife  Oldam,  a  fisherman's  wife  in  Darby,  1634,  for  severall 
days  together,  nigh  the  time  of  her  travailing,  lost  great  store  of  blood, 
having  no  throws,  or  pain,  to  move  delivery. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Towards  her  ending,  I  was  called  to  her,  and,  seing  her  fainting, 
and  her  spirits  spent,  and  finding  no  pulse,  or  one  very  weake,  I  gave 
her  a  cordiall,  but  I  told  the  women,  for  all  that  shee  was  very  sensible, 
that,  through  the  losse  of  her  blood,  shee  would  quickly  die.  The  wo- 
men did  not  beleeve  my  words,  the  which  they  found  true  within  the 
space  of  three  houres  following. 

After  her  death  shee  was  opened.  In  the  small  bowel  ileon  was 
found  a  double  convolvulus,  which  made  her  oft  to  vomit.  It  troubled 
mee  much  afterwards,  that  I  had  forgotten  to  search  whether  the  orifice 
of  the  womb  was  open. 

I  suppose  that  it  was  not  opened,  for  that  shee  had  not  any  pain, 
or  signe  of  labour.  A  great  child  was  found  in  the  womb,  inclosed  in 
the  membranes,  and  swimming  in  the  waters ;  which  (too  late)  caused 
mee  to  doubt,  whether  this  issue  of  blood  came  per  uteri  vaginam,  ex- 
ternally ;  or  internally,  ab  utero. 

If  the  flux  of  blood  come  from  the  vagina  uteri,  I  suppose  the 
aforegoing  cordials  may  do  some  good. 

But,  if  the  flux  of  blood  come  from  the  inner  part  of  the  womb, 
the  midwife,  or  chirurgion,  sliding  up  his  anointed  hand  into  the  first 
entrance  of  the  naturall  parts,  must  take  out  all  the  clots  of  blood,  (if 
there  bee  any  to  bee  found)  before  hee  endeavoureth  to  deliver  the 

Afterwards,  if  that  the  inward  neck  of  the  womb  bee  not  suffici- 
ently dilated,  then  shall  hee,  as  gently  as  hee  possible  can,  and  without 
violence,  anoint  those  parts  with  fresh  butter,  or  rather  use  Balsamum 
Hystericum,  and  then,  with  his  fingers,  to  stretch  the  os  uteri  by  little, 
and  little,  untill  hee  can  put  in  his  hand  into  the  womb. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


If  the  waters  bee  not  broken,  hee  needs  not  to  bee  afraid  to  let 
them  forth.  Then,  presently,  if  the  child  commeth  with  his  head  for- 
niost,  hee  shall  turn  him  (in  the  woman's  weaknes)  to  find  his  feet,  and 
so  deliver  the  woman  speedily  by  the  child's  feet,  as  hath,  in  severall 
places,  been  directed. 

I  was  sent  for  into  Staffordshire,  to  visit  a  woman,  that  had  some- 
times flouded,  but  it  was  stayed  October  the  eight  1668. 

The  ninth  of  October  shee  had  a  pash  of  blood  in  the  morning, 
and  another  about  foure  in  the  afternoone ;  but,  with  astringent,  cooling 
medicines,  the  flux  was  quickly  stopt. 

The  rest  of  the  day,  and  night  following,  all  things  succeeded 


October  the  eleventh  I  was  sent  for  by  an  Honourable  Lady,  big 
with  child,  to  whom  I  had  been  formerly  engaged.  This  sudden  newes 
did  much  trouble  her,  and  all  that  day,  afterwards,  shee  had  moisture 
comming  from  her,  but  no  blood. 

Shee  thought,  that  shee  should  have  gone  two,  or  three  moneths 
longer ;  and,  upon  my  assurance,  That  I  would  not  stay  much  from  her, 
and  that  I  would  not  forsake  her,  but  that  I  speedily  would  return  again, 
shee  was  chearfull,  and  took  good  rest,  and  slept  well  all  that  night,  and 
the  issue  was  stopt,  and  her  linens  about  her  were  very  dry  the  next 
morning,  and  shee,  fearing  no  sudden  danger,  permitted  mee  my  liberty 
to  go  to  this  Lady. 

So  I  came  to  Darby  October  the  twelfth.  But,  about  foure  a 
clock  that  afternoon,  shee  again  flouded,  and  so  continued  all  that  night, 
and  the  next  day,  losing  much  blood. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


That  night  I  was  sent  for  again,  and  came  to  her  about  foure  in 
the  afternoon,  October  the  thirteenth. 

I  found  all  the  women  lamenting,  and,  with  her,  two  Doctors  of 
Physick,  giving  her  cordials  to  support  her  spirits,  and  three  midwives 
to  assist  her. 

Shee  was  very  cold ;  and  her  pulse  was  gone,  yet  very  sensible, 
rejoycing  to  see  mee,  and  desirous  of  help. 

I  certified  the  Physicians,  and  midwives,  with  the  rest  of  the  com- 
pany, privately,  That  I  beleeved,  That  shee  would  not  recover,  being 
thus  weakened,  through  the  losse  of  much  blood. 

Yet,  in  this  extremity,  I  told  the  Physicians,  and  the  midwives, 
that  it  was  the  best  way  (if  possible)  speedily  to  deliver  her;  and  that 
it  was  the  onely,  and  last  refuge  left  to  save  her  life.  To  my  opinion 
the  midwives  and  physicians  forthwith  consented. 

Wliilest  that  shee  kneeled,  I  placed  my  self  behind  her,  I  slid  up 
my  anointed  hand,  I  found  the  womb  a  little  open,  yet  so  narrow,  that  I 
could  not  well  put  up  my  finger.  But,  with  my  fingers  closed  together, 
I  supplied  the  use  of  a  speculum  matricis,  and  easily  dilated  the  orifice 
of  the  womb ;  which,  without  any  strugling,  in  a  trice,  (to  my  great 
wonder)  sufficiently  opened.  I  forced  open  the  bed,  in  which  the  child 
was  involved,  by  tearing  the  coats  with  my  fingers,  and  the  waters  issued. 
I  quickly  brought  forth  the  dead  child  by  the  feet,  without  strugling, 
or  trouble.  And  the  after-burden  was  as  easily  drawn  away,  and  shee 
flouded  no  more.     The  child  was'  not  at  perfect  growth. 

Nevertheles  the  cordials  proved  too  weak  to  reinforce  heat,  or 
strength  into  her  body,  or  to  restore  her  pulse.     Shee  fainted  more,  and 

aa  2 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

more,   by  degrees,  and,  about  an  houre  after  her  delivery,  shee  fell  into 
her  last  sleep. 

Flouding  doth  most  endanger  the  mother's  life ;  the  driblings,  or 
issue  of  the  waters,  the  infant,  and  either,  or  both  may  bring  (if  not 
helped)  a  ruine  to  the  mother,  and  the  child. 

After  her  death,  I  was  much  troubled,  and  grieved,  That  I  was  so 
unfortunate  to  leave  this  woman  for  so  short  a  space. 

I,  therefore,  intreat,  and  advice  all  midwives,  not  to  leave  their 
women,  if  they  find  them  apt  to  floud,  and  not  to  suppose  the  danger 
past,  although  it  seemeth  to  bee  quite  stopped;  but  to  consult  with 
physicians,  what  is  best  to  bee  done,  and  to  remember, 

That  the  oftener  the  flouding  return  eth,  that  the  more  danger  it 
threateneth,  and  that  the  sooner  it  will  come  againe. 

And  that,  whensoever  their  women  have  fluxes  of  waterish 
humours,  mixed  with  these  intermitting  pashes  of  blood,  to  suppose, 
That  they  will  not  stay  long  before  that  they  fall  into  travaile,  or  some 
other  danger, -if  not  delivered. 

And,  whensoever  the  blood  issueth  in  great  abundance,  to  endea- 
vour without  any  farther  delay,  or  consultation,  speedily  to  deliver  the 
woman  by  the  child's  legs,  otherwise,  both  mother,  and  child  will  perish 

As  I  have  said,  so  still  I  conceive,  that  the  cause  of  flouding  is 
the  separating  of  some  part  of  the  after-birth  from  the  sides  of  the  womb, 
and  when  these  venes  bee  emptied,  that  then  the  flux  stayeth,  untill, 
upon  repast,  they  bee  againe  filled,  and  then  these  venes,  having  their 
mouths  open,  do  floud,  and  so  will  continue  flouding,  by  intermissions, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


untill  the  foetus  bee  produced,  or  the  woman,  through  losse  of  bloud, 
bee  deprived  of  her  life. 

Therefore,  in  this  sudden,  sad,  and  deadly  condition,  the  best  way 
to  save  life  will  bee,  speedily  to  open  the  womb ;  afterwards,  to  break  the 
membranes,  or  coats,  in  which  the  infant  is  inclosed,  and,  by  the  child's 
feet,  quickly  to  deliver  the  woman,  and  then  to  fetch  the  after-birth. 

Otherwise,  the  mother,  with  the  child,  will  perish,  through  the 
continuall  losse  of  blood ;  and  it  is  not  possible,  in  this  case,  otherwise 
to  releeve  the  woman.  Cordials  will  afford  small  comfort.  It  is  delivery, 
and  only  delivery,  that  must  do  the  deed.     See  Guillimeau. 

After  delivery,  these  issues  of  blond  ab  utero  stop  of  themselves. 

There  was  a  Gentlewoman  in  Darbyshire  Anno  1667,  that,  about 
the  thirtieth  week  of  her  going  with  child,  began  to  floud,  with  several! 
intermissions,  stopping  oft  for  a  week,  or  longer  time.  Thus  shee  con- 
tinued for  the  space  of  five  weeks,  or  longer.  All  which  time  shee  sought 
for  no  help,  but  trusted  to  her  midwife's  ignorant  skill.  At  last,  through 
continuance,  these  fluxes  came  the  oftener  together. 

January  the  twenty  ninth  day  shee  violently  fiouded.  It  stayed 
January  the  thirtieth,  and,  in  the  one  and  thirtieth  day,  shee  avoided 
severall  stinking  clots  of  blood,  and  fainted. 

I  was  from  home,  and  too  late,  a  physician  was  sent  for. 
her  cordials,  but  they  nothing  availed. 

Hee  gave 

February  the  first,  about  eight  in  the  morning,  the  flux  stayed,  but 
her  spirits  being  ruinated,  through  the  losse  of  blood,  shee  died  that 
day  (undelivered)  about  twelve  of  the  clock. 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  was  called  to  Sarah  Cordine  a  vintner's  wife  in  Darby  1663. 
Shee  having  flouded  a  week,  or  longer  time,  when  I  came  to  her,  some 
of  her  kindred  thought  that  shee  was  in  no  danger,  and  desired  mee  to 
direct  them  some  cordials,  to  give  her. 

I  told  them,  That  they  had  deferred  time  too  long,  and  that  I 
much  feared  her  weaknes.  Shee  was  weak,  and  much  spent  with  her 
sufferings,  which  made  mee  unwilling  to  lay  her. 

But,  at  last,  being  much  intreated  by  her  self,  and  her  friends,  to 
help  her,  I  thought  it  not  my  part  to  forsake  her  dejected,  and  languish- 
ing, and  to  leave  her  with  uncomfortable  prognosticks.  After  that  I 
had  placed  her  kneeling,  being  behind  her,  I  put  up  my  hand,  well 
anointed,  and  I  found  the  womb  open.  I  presently  brake  the  membranes, 
containing  the  waters,  in  which  the  child  was  bedded,  and  drew  the  dead 
child  forth  immediately  by  the  feet.  The  dead  child  was  of  no  great 
bignes,  and  it  was  not,  in  any  part,  altered  or  corrupted. 

After  the  delivery,  shee  spake  chearfully  to  mee,  and  to  her  friends, 
and  seemed  to  bee  much  releeved.  To  comfort  her  spirits,  and  to  re- 
store her  weaknes,  I  was  prescribing  some  directions.  But  a  sudden, 
unexpected  faintnes,  comming  upon  her,  stopt  the  use  of  my  prescrip- 
tions, and  terminated  her  dayes. 

And  thus  experience  maketh  apparent,  how  necessary  it  is,  speedily 
to  deliver  a  woman  with  child,  when  a  flux  of  bloud,  or  convulsions  do 
go  afore  the  birth,  or  that  they  accompany  the  woman's  body  in  time 
of  her  travaile,  and  when  shee  will  not  bee  saved  by  ordinary  medicines. 
These  fluxes  of  blood,  and  convulsions  usually  cease  after  the  woman  is 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


After  delivery,  sometimes,  though  seldome,  fluxes  of  blood  happen 
to  women ;  immediately,  or  not  long  after,  following  the  birth.  I  have 
known  a  few,  that  have  recovered  these  fluxes ;  but  I  have  heard  of 
many,  from  midwives,  and  other  women,  that  they  have  died  of  them. 

I  hold  the  flux  of  blood  deadly  after  delivery,  if  it  bee  great,  I 
never  heard  of  any  woman,  that  escaped,  but  that  they  all  perished. 

I  was  sent  for  June  the  fourth  1662 ;  to  come  to  a  woman,  dwell- 
ing at  Wavertoffe,  nigh  Castle-Dunnington.  Her  midwife  could  not 
deliver  her. 

The  arme  came  first.  I  turned  the  birth,  and  shee  was  soon  de- 
livered of  a  living  child,  by  the  child's  feet.  That  night  shee  had  a 
great  pash  of  the  reds,  and  so  every  night,  or  other  night. 

They  hoped,  that  shee  would  have  amended,  and,  not  taking  many 
medicines,  nor  so  carefully  attended,  as  might  have  been,  within  a  fort- 
night shee  died  of  this  infirmity. 

After  a  troublesome  labour  about  1638  1  was  sent  for  to  a  woman 
to  Kyrk-Halam.  I  delivered  her,  and,  to  my  thinking,  shee  was  safely 
laid  in  her  bed,  and  so  I  went  from  her.  How  it  happened,  I  know  not, 
but,  afore  the  next  morning,  shee  flouded,  and  so  died. 

By  a  good  woman  I  had  this  report  related  to  mee.  A  kinswo- 
man of  her's,  a  minister's  wife,  after  delivery,  had  a  draught  of  burnt 
muscadine  given  her.  It  set  her  a  coughing,  and  that  brought  a  flouding 
on  her,  of  which,  within  two  houres,  shee  died. 

To  releeve,  and  help  the  danger  of  flouding,  the  complete  mid- 
wife's practice  ordereth  to  give  her  the  yolk  of  an  egge.  For  that 
recalls  the  naturall  heat  to  the  stomach,  which  was  dispersed  through 





Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

the  whole  body.  Also,  to  dip  a  napkin  in  Oxycrate,  or  vinegar  and 
water,  and  to  lay  it  all  along  the  renes  of  the  woman's  back.  Or  to  lay 
upon  each  groine  a  skene  of  raw  silk,  moistened  in  water. 

Mercatus  de  immodico  sanguinis  flnxu  post  partum  lib.  4.  cap.  ix 
fol.  527.  hsec  habet  verba. 

Verum  si  immodicissima  fuerit  sanguinis  profusio,  ad  queeq.  auxilia, 
quantumvis  gravia,  deveniendum;  ac  satius  quidem  existimo,  malum 
aliquod  utero,  aut  toti  corpori  infere,  sanguine  suppresso,  quam,  in  vita? 
desperatione,  dubium  periculum  vereri ;  prsesenti,  et  graviori,  posthabito. 
Quamobrem  scito,  nil  hujusmodi  profusionibus  citius  subvenire,  quam 
viriliter  comedere,  ut  et  calor  revocetur,  et  natura  distrahatur,  alliciaturq. 
ad  confectionem  alimenti. 

Sine  respectu,  aut  uteri,  aut  totius  corporis,  in  vitse  desperatione, 
cseteris  omnibus  posthabitis,  ad  extrema  confugiendum,  praesertim,  cum 
subsequentia  mala  cui'ari  postea  possiut.     Eonchiuus  fol.  195. 

Reynold,  the  Physician,  layeth  linen  cloths,  dipped  in  vinegar,  on 
the  belly,  between  the  navell,  and  the  secrets,  and  giveth  of  the  electuary 
Athanasia  Micletse  3ij  in  plantane  water. 

Hartmanus  Corbeias  adviceth  to  pulverize  the  root  filipendulee  ^ij, 
and  to  give  every  day  a  drachm  of  it  in  the  yolk  of  an  egge. 

Also  hee  commendeth  Rad.  mori  with  red  wine. 

De  radice  filipendulae,  inquit,  dabo,  quod  sunguinem,  ubicunq. 
fluentem,  preecipue  ex  utero,  efficaciter  sistit.  Every  morning  a  drachm 
must  bee  given  with  the  yolk  of  an  egge. 

Mercatus  commendeth  the  taking  of  a  drachm  of  the  powder  of 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


white  amber ;  for  that  it  moveth  urine,  and  expelleth  the  secondine,  and 
stoppeth  the  flowing  of  blood. 

One  Mrs  Mower  assured  mee,  that  amber  powdered,  half  a 
drachm,  and  mixed  with  a  little  nutmeg,  and  given  with  the  yolk  of  an 
egge,  and  so  supped  up,  and,  after  it,  to  drink  a  little  glass-full  of  mus- 
cadine, stoppeth  the  reds  too  much  flowing,  and  that  shee  had  cured 
severall  women  with  this  medicine. 

With  Mrs  Mower's  medicine  I  helped  a  woman  in  Meet-street, 
at  London,  giving  it  in  a  caudle  made  strong  with  yolkes  of  egges,  and 
a  little  mace.     It  was  made  with  ale. 

But,  I  beleeve,  in  all  these,  there  was  no  violent  flux  of  blood, 
where  these  medicines  prevailed. 

But,  where  flouding  issueth  with  a  streame,  I  shall  not  easily  bee 
persAvaded,  That  filipendula  roots,  or  succinum  with  yolkes  of  egges,  or 
such  like,  will  at  all  availe. 

I  shall  give  more  credence  to  the  dung  of  asses,  or  stone  horses, 
or  of  hogs,  internally  taken,  and  outwardly  used  in  pessaries;  or 
cataplasmes  of  these,  mixed  with  vineger,  and  so,  in  cloths,  applied  to 
the  region  of  the  belly.     Vide  Sermon  p.  260. 

Many  have  perished  through  this  sad  accident,  and  usually  it 
proves  fatall  to  all  women. 

If  possible,  I  heartily  could  wish,  that  some  worthy  practicer 
would  bee  pleased  to  direct  some  powerfull  wayes,  or  medicines,  to  bridle 
this  raging,  destroying  evil.  Women  would  have  cause  to  acknowledg 
his  worth,  and  all  succeeding  ages  would  give  him  thanks. 

bb  ' 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


This  evil  is  never  thought  on,  but  when  casually  it  happeneth,  so 
that  then  convenient  medicines  bee  to  seek,  and  ever  wanting.  Some 
practicers  say,  That  it  commeth  through  putrefaction  of  the  membranes, 
or  through  the  breach  of  a  great  vene,  adhering  to  the  secondine.  I 
feare,  That,  through  the  narrownes,  and  depth  of  the  place,  in  which  the 
breach  is,  that  astringent  medicines  cannot  well  bee  applied  in  pessaries, 
to  reach  the  place.  I  confesse  my  ignorance,  and  I  beleeve,  That  there 
is  no  other,  but  God  alone,  that  can  do  this  work,  to  help  the  woman. 
I  suppose  that  astringent  injections  may  bee  somewhat  available. 

Eiverius  pro  fluxu  immodico  post  Abortum  cent.  1.  obs.  96. 

Qutedam  mulier,  post  Abortum,  a  sanguinis  fiuxu  immodico 
summam  virium  dejectionem  patiebatur.  Illi  prsescribo  frictiones,  et 
ligaturas  superiorum,  cucurbitulas  sub  mammis,  epithemata,  et  pullos 
columbinos,  fotus  manuum  cum  vino  calente,  in  quo  confectio  Alkermes 
dissoluta  sit,  et  sequentem  potionem. 

H  aquar.  plantag.  naphse,  et  rosar.  aa  $i  syrup,  corallor.  %i  salis 
prunellse  ^i  sanguinis  draconis  3s  misce,  fiat  potio;  quae  statim  fuit 
exhibita,  et  inter  horae  quadrantem  dolores  ventris,  et  lumborum  quie- 
verunt,  et  fluxus  imminutus  est,  ut  aliis  remediis  non  indiguerit. 

Dr.  William  Sermon  in  his  English  midwife  fol.  150.    Vide  260. 


Convulsions  bee  dangerous  to  women  with  child,  and,  in  these  fits, 
some  women  perish. 

I  was  desired  to  visit  a  Gentlewoman,  not  nigh  her  time  of  de- 
livery, that  some  times  was  afflicted  with  convulsions. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Of  a  sudden,  they  seized  on  her,  and  then  shee  lay,  for  a  small 
time,  senseles,  and  without  motion.  Presently,  afterwards,  her  face, 
mouth,  and  jawes  would  bee  fearfully  moved,  and  pulled  awry,  and  her 
eyes  turned  upwards. 

Sometimes,  for  a  little  space,  these  convulsions  were  not  so  violent ; 
yet,  during  the  time  of  her  suffering,  shee  was  senseles ;  but,  after  her 
comming  again  unto  her  self,  when  her  fits  left  her,  shee  could  not  say 
that  shee  had  felt  any  pain.  All,  that  shee  complained  of,  was,  That 
shee  felt  a  wearines  all  over  her  body. 

This  Gentlewoman  was  young,  and  passionate,  and  was  alwayes 
feeding  on  good  meat,  or  broths,  or  restorative  cullices,  gellies,  or  such 
like;  and  ever  carried  bisket  bread,  with  dried  suckets,  and  cakes, 
almonds,  and  raisins  of  the  sun,  in  great  store,  in  her  pockets,  with 
which,  both  walking,  and  sitting,  or  playing  at  cards,  shee  liberally  filled 
her  mouth,  and  kept  her  chaps  in  moving. 

Shee  went  forth  her  full  time,  and  recovered,  and  I  never  heard  of 
any  miscarriage,  either  in  her,  or  in  her  child.  But  I  beleeve  her  un- 
satiable  appetite  did  much  occasion  these  her  convulsions. 

I  knew  another  woman,  that  was  delivered  by  a  chirurgion,  having 
the  convulsive  fits  on  her,  her  child  perished.  Being  delivered,  shee 
againe  recovered  her  senses,  and  lived  many  years  after,  and  was  a 
mother  of  living  children. 

December  the  third  1671  Susan,  the  wife  of  Nathaniel  Doughty, 
being  in  labour,  had  a  clyster  given  her  by  her  midwife  Hey  wood. 

An  houre  after,  shee  fell  into  convulsion  fits.     After  this  affliction, 
__  _ 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  was  called,  and  the  convulsion  fits  were  upon  her  at  my  comming  unto 
her,  and  continued  all  the  time  of  her  delivery. 

I  placed  her  on  a  bed,  and  would  have  put  her  body  into  a  bend- 
ing posture  on  her  knees ;  yet,  by  reason  of  her  convulsions,  I  could 
not  bring  her  body  to  it. 

Yet  I  obtained  a  foot,  but,  through  the  straitnes  of  her  body,  and 
the  slipperines  of  the  foot,  and  heele,  I  could  not  hold  the  foot,  it  still 
slipt  out  of  my  hand.  The  child  being  dead,  I  endeavoured  to  bring 
the  head  forth  by  the  crochet,  but  it  would  not  be  thrust  backwards,  or 
drawn  forwards  by  the  crochet,  but  it  remained  fixt  in  the  place.  So 
that  I  could  do  no  good  by  the  head,  in  reference  to  the  delivery.  I  was 
much  amazed  at  it,  and  was  full  of  doubtfull  feares  what  to  do. 

I  fixed  the  crochet  a  little  above  the  ancle,  and  by  it,  with  my  hand, 
the  foot  was  drawn  forth  so  far,  that  I  could  well  fix  a  ligature  on  it. 
By  the  ligature  it  was  drawn  forth  to  the  buttocks,  and  I  found  the  other 
foot  stretched  forth  on  the  belly,  the  which  was  brought  down  by  my 
finger.  Afterwards,  when  it  was  brought  to  the  neck,  I  put  my  finger 
into  the  child's  mouth,  and,  by  the  help  of  a  woman,  drawing  by  the 
child's  feet,  the  head  was  brought  forth,  and  the  after-burden  was  easily 
obtained ;  and  her  convulsion  fits  never  left  her,  all  the  time  of  her  de- 
livery, nor  severall  houres  after. 

Being  put  into  bed,  at  last  her  fits  left  her,  and  shee  became  a 
little  sensible,  but  did  not  obtaine  her  perfect  understanding,  and  thought 
that  shee  was  not  delivered ;  and  shee  continued  stupid,  and  sottish,  not 
recovering  her  understanding,  and,  two  dayes  after,  died. 

In  her  infancy,  shee  was  afflicted  with  the  rickets,  through  which 
infirmity,  shee  had  an  ill  conformation  of  the  bones.      Shee  suffered 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


several!  abortions,  but  brought  no  birth  to  maturity,  this  onely  excepted. 
The  genitall  passages  were  very  narrow,  and  strait. 

Through  the  convulsions  shee  was  weakened,  and  so  perished  in  her 
child -bed. 

I  was  sent  for  to  Boylston  in  Darbyshire  by  Ambrose  Bayly,  the 
husband  of  Dorothy  Bayly.  I  was  promised  to  bee  paid  largly,  and 
thankfully  for  my  going,  in  case  that  I  would  come  unto  him. 

*  His  wife  was  a  young  woman,  supposed  to  bee  in  labour  of  her 
first  child.  In  her  childhood,  and  youth  shee  was  much  troubled  with 
convulsion  fits,  and  they  had  left  her  for  eleven  yeares  January  the  30 

January  the  29  at  eight  a  clock  at  night  shee  fell  into  convulsion 
fits,  and,  without  any  intermission,  continued  in  them  untill  past  one  the 
next  day,  and  senseles  died  in  them.  Within  half  an  houre  after  her 
departure  I  came  to  the  place,  and  found  a  company  of  Rooks  about  the 
house,  and  some  at  the  Parsonage ;  in  both  places  making  an  unhand- 
some (not  dolefull,  but)  cheating  cawing.  Their  voices,  and  doings  were 
not  pleasing  to  mee.  Not  liking  their  company,  I  went  away  that  bitter, 
cold,  frosty  night.  I  found  no  civility  in  any  of  them,  but  in  her 
mother  onely,  who  was  afterwards  Mrs. . 

Thomas  Raynold  the  Physician  saith  in  his  treatise  of  midwifery, 
That  an  assess  hoof,  or  dung,  put  on  coales,  and  the  fume  received  under 
the  labouring  woman's  cloths,  will  draw  forth  the  child. 

I  have  heard  others  affirme,  That  they  have  taken  polypody  roots, 
and,  being  bruised,  and  laid  to  the  soles  of  the  feet,  they  will  do  the 
same ;  and  that  they  have  tried  this  medicine  of  polypody  roots. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Mrs  Sharpe  saith,  That  agrimony  roots  and  leaves,  bruised,  and 
laid  to  the  secrets,  doth  the  same. 

But,  if  any  such  thing  hath,  or  can  bee  done,  bee  sure  first  to  set 
the  birth  in  a  right  posture.  Otherwise  the  birth  will  bee  the  more  ob- 
structed, and  so  the  woman  will  be  the  more  tormented,  and  not  at  all 

Observing  Hippocrates  first  Aphorisme. 

Vita  brevis,  ars  longa,  occasio  praeceps,  judicium  difficile,  experi- 
entia  fallax,  neq.  verb  satis  est,  ea,  quae  facto  opus  sunt,  praestb  esse,  sed 
et  segrum,  et  eos,  qui  praesentes  sunt,  et  res  externas,  ad  id  probe  com- 
paratas  esse  oportet. 

Knowing  his  words  to  bee  true,  and  that  this  Aphorisme  may  bee 
most  usefull  in  the  woman's  bed,  and  the  midwife's  practice,  I  mention  it. 

For  that  I  know  women  bee  not  born  midwives,  and  that  long 
time,  with  much  practice,  helpeth  them  to  understand  their  callings ; 
and,  although  they  may  bee  expert  in  their  wayes,  yet  their  women  may 
bee  lost  through  negligent  attendance,  with  want  of  necessaries. 

I  have  heard  some  midwives  greatly  to  boast  of  their  abilities. 
But,  in  their  practice,  they  have  shewed  much  ignorant  simplicity,  and, 
when,  by  their  violent  halings,  and  stretching  their  women's  bodies, 
they  could  do  no  good  to  promote  delivery,  then  I  have  been  sent  for. 

Their  doings  affirme,  Dulce  bellum  inexpertis ;  and,  when  occasion 
wanteth,  that  then  wee  think,  that  wee  could  performe  wonders. 

Whensoever  I  was  called  to  women  in  distresse,  I  found  it  a 
dreadfull  thing  unto  my  thoughts,  humano  ludere  corio,  and  I  would 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


willingly  have  desisted  from  this  practice,  had  not  Johannes  Bohinus 
victoriam  damans,  et  inquiens,  satis  commode  pedem  unum  reperio, 
altered  my  resolution. 

Although  severall  women,  with  their  living  children,  can  testify, 
and  have  oft  affirmed,  That  the  delivery  by  the  feet  is  nothing  so  pain- 
full, as  when  the  birth  commeth  by  the  head. 

What  I  have  said,  and  have  oft  approved  most  true,  that  eminent 
person  Dr  Harvey  fol.  491  in  his  discourse  of  the  birth,  hath  confirmed 
in  these  following  words. 

Yet,  notwithstanding,  in  abortment,  and  where  the  fcetus  is  dead, 
and  that  there  should  bee  an  hard  delivery  any  other  way,  so  that  there 
is  necessity  of  handy  work  in  the  busines,  the  more  convenient  way,  of 
comming  forth,  is  with  the  feet  formost ;  for,  by  that  meanes,  the  straits 
of  the  uterus  are  opened,  as  it  were,  by  a  wedg. 

Wherefore,  when  the  hopes  of  delivery  relyeth  chiefly  upon  the 
fcetus,  as  being  strong,  and  lively,  wee  must  endeavour  to  farther  his 
comming  out  with  the  head  formost. 

But,  in  case  the  task  is  like  to  depend  upon  the  uterus,  wee  must 
procure  his  comming  out  with  his  feet  formost. 

By  his  sayings,  I  may  well  affirme,  That  the  comming  down  of 
the  arme,  and  all  difficult  births,  whatsoever,  will  bee  better  laid  by  the 
feet,  then  by  the  head. 

And,  by  this  way,  all  over  grown  children  may  bee  produced, 
where  the  passages  bee  straight,  and  narrow,  and  the  womb  left  dry. 

Being  called  July  the  eight  1667  to  Church-Broughton,  to  deliver 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 



Elianor  Kniveton,  the  wife  of  Gilbert  Kniveton  I  found  three  midwives 
with  her,  and  one  of  them  had  reduced  the  arme,  with  much  torture  to 
the  woman.  Their  skill  could  go  no  farther,  they  caused  mee  to  bee 
sent  for.  The  child  was  dead,  and  the  expulsive  faculty  of  the  womb 
was  extinct.  I  placed  her  kneeling  on  a  bolster ;  I  quickly  obtained 
the  feet,  and  so,  without  throws,  1  quickly  laid  her,  and  shee  soon  re- 

These  midwives  saw  mee  do  it,  and  since,  shee,  with  her  husband, 
have  thankfully  acknowledged  this  my  courtesy,  at  my  house  in  Darby. 
And  shee  hath  had  another  child  since  that  time,  now  living.  Anno 

The  same  birth  happened  to  Mrs  Mary  Mercer  of  Church  Ma- 
field,  a  minister's  wife  in  Staffordshire  September  the  seventh  1667. 

Severall  midwives  were  with  her,  and  one  of  them,  with  much 
trouble,  had  reduced  the  arme,  but  could  proceed  no  farther  to  help  her. 
I  was  sent  for. 

I  soon  delivered  her,  by  the  child's  feet,  of  a  dead  child,  con- 
trary to  all  her  midwives  expectations,  and  her  friends,  there  present, 
without  any  tbrowes,  or  expulsion  from  the  womb. 

After  delivery,  shee  assured  her  midwives,  that,  in  respect  of  her 
former  sufferings,  I  had  put  her  to  no  pain,  but  such  as  shee  could  well 
endure,  and,  with  a  chearfull,  smiling  countenance,  shee  gave  first  God 
thanks,  afterwards  shee  thanked  mee ;  and  we  all  thanked  God  for  her 
good  delivery,  and  his  mercy  towards  her,  and  shee  quickly  recovered. 
This  was  the  first  time,  that  I  was  with  her. 

I  have  frequently  seen  harsh,  and  unhandsome  proceedings,  used 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


by  young  midwives ;  and,  sometimes,  the  older  sort  of  midwives  have 
not  been  excusable  of  their  ignorances.  I  have  known  them  both 
greatly  to  afflict  their  women,  through  their  too  much  officious  doings, 
which  hath  oft  made  mee  much  to  pity  their  labouring  womens  sorrow- 
full  sufferings. 

Therefore,  to  instruct  the  former,  and  better  to  help  the  other,  I 
have  taken  these  notes,  and  observations,  desiring  to  do  good,  and  to 
help  all  women  in  distresse ;  returning  my  thankfull  acknowledgements 
to  God  Almighty,  for  his  severall  exceeding  great  mercies  to  mee,  and 
to  severall  afflicted  women,  that  I  have  happily  delivered,  with  the 
preservation  of  their  children,  by  the  feet. 

I  should  rejoyce  to  see  my  work  set  forth  more  plainer,  and  easier, 
by  the  way  of  practice,  for  the  delivery  of  women,  for  the  helping  and 
preventing  a  danger  so  great,  ever  dubious,  alwayes  attended  with  sorrow, 
and  feare,  and  never  free  from  danger. 

I  am  fully  satisfied,  in  my  own  thoughts,  concerning  these  ob- 
servations, and  wayes;  for  that  they  bee  approved  by  worthy  men's 
opinions ;  and  for  that,  they  bee  also  confirmed  through  the  confessions 
of  severall  women,  that  I  have  delivered,  as  yet  living  in  health,  and 
enjoying  themselves,  and  their  children. 

And,  to  conclude,  it  is  my  opinion,  That,  in  all  difficult,  and 
crosse  births,  The  onely  way,  and  the  ultimum  refugium  to  save  the 
mother,  and  the  child,  is,  not  to  reduce  the  birth  to  the  head,  but  to 
draw  it  forth  by  the  feet,  winch  may  quickly,  and  easily,  with  safety,  bee 

And  severall  women,  that  I  have  delivered  of  unnaturall,  and 
difficult   births,    have,  and  will  aver  the  same ;    shewing  their  living 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 




children  to  confirme  my  deeds ;  and  both  mother  and  child,  by  this  way, 
preserved,  and  snatched  from  the  jaws  of  death. 

I  know  no  cause,  why  their  testimonies  may  not  bee  accepted,  and 
bee  beleeved,  seing  they  only  feel  and  undergo  the  sufferings,  and  dangers 
unnaturall  births,  and  difficult  labours. 

Let  reason,  and  experience  plead  for  the  truth,  against  self-con- 
ceited opinions.  I  have  not  fained  anything  in  this  my  practice,  or 
framed  any  plausible,  dissembling  untruths,  in  any  of  these  observations 
and  reports. 

I  onely  testifie,  de  facto,  what  I  have  really  performed,  and  there 
bee  many  living,  that  can,  and  will  witness  these  my  facts  to  have  beene 
truly  performed.      And  therefore  I  say,  Veritas  non  queerit  angulos. 

When  fainting  fits,  in  delivery,  or  after  delivery,  or  in  both,  hap- 
pen, they  shew  the  woman  to  bee  in  danger.  And,  although  these 
women  bee  succoured  with  great  cordials,  if,  after  releeving,  these  fits 
return  again,  oppressing  the  spirits,  for  the  most  part  they  end  in  death. 

Jane,  the  wife  of  William  Blood  in  S.  Peter's  parish  in  Darby, 
about  1641,  being  in  labour,  had  fainting  fits.  Dr  Andrew  Morton  did 
much  comfort,  and  releeve  her  with  cordials,  and  other  medicines  to 
cause  labour,  which  was  slow,  or  very  little.  Shee  was  delivered  of  two 
children.  Shee  had  these  fainting  fits  before,  and  after  delivery,  and, 
at  last,  in  child  bed,  shee  died  in  them. 

A  Gentlewoman,  at  Quinborrow  in  Leicester-shire,  had  fainting 
fits  in  her  labour.  Shee  was  delivered  of  a  dead  child.  Shee  much 
fainted,  when  the  after-birth  by  her  ignorant,  fumbling  midwife  was 
endeavoured  to  bee  fetched.     I  was  compelled  to  help  her,  for  feare 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


shee  should  have  died  under  her  hands.  These  fainting  fits  much 
weakened  her  spirits.  Shee  daily  decayed  by  them,  and,  within  the 
moneth  of  her  lying  in  child-bed,  shee  died. 

Through  the  motion  of  my  honoured,  good  friend,  Dr  Georgius 
Bate,  now  deceased,  I  was  sent  for,  to  visit  one  Mrs  Skink,  dwelling  in 
the  Strand  in  London,  Apr.  the  third,  1658.  At  my  comming,  I  found 
with  her  Dr.  Greaves.  These  worthy,  good  Doctors  supposed,  That  some 
part  of  the  uterine  cake  might  bee  left,  or  that  somewhat  was  amisse  in 
vagina  vel  ore  uteri  after  her  delivery.  Upon  searching,  I  found  not  any 
thing.  But  her  body,  in  feeling,  seemed  coldish.  They  prescribed  good 
hystericall  Juleps,  and  cordiall  electuaries,  (fitting  for  her  infirmity)  to 
strengthen  the  vitall  spirits,  and  for  suppressing  uterine  vapours,  and 
keeping  the  womb  open  with  them. 

At  the  first  taking  of  them,  shee  was  much  revived,  and  refreshed, 
but,  within  a  day  or  two,  her  fainting  fits  returned,  and  would  not  give 
place  to  medicines.      Within  few  dayes  after  shee  died  with  a  loosenes. 

I  was  with  a  very  worthy  woman,  pious,  and  of  courteous  disposi- 
tion, well  given,  and  charitable  May  the  13,  1667. 

Shee  was  well  delivered  by  her  midwife,  and  her  sufferings,  in  her 
travaile,  were  not  extreme,  and  the  after-birth  was,  handsomely,  without 
lacerations,  fetched  away. 

This  young  woman,  from  her  infancy,  was  sometimes  troubled 
with  fainting  fits,  inclining  to  the  epilepsy,  and  had  some  grumblings  of 
them  in  her  labour.     Shee  was  indifferent  well  for  three  dayes. 

The  fourth  day,  after  her  delivery,  at  her  up-sitting,  towards  night, 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

shee  began   to   bee  ill,   and,  after   midnight,   fainting  fits  did  much 
oppresse  her. 

I  did  much  releeve  her  with  an  hystericall  cordiall,  composed  of 
castoreum,  gum  galbanum,  assa  fcetida,  and  mithridate,  to  which  was 
added  ol.  succim,  and  composed  into  pils  with  syrup  of  mugwort. 

Then  came,  afterwards,  her  Dr  to  whose  care  I  commited  her 
safety,  but,  whatsoever  was  the  cause,  hee  would  prescribe  nothing  with- 
out my  order,  and  directions. 

These  fainting  fits  did  much  oppresse  her.  They  continued, 
without  any  intermission,  sixteen  houres,  and  every  hour  shee  grew 
weaker,  and  worser.  Her  Physician  gave  her  severall  Hystericall  Julapes, 
and  cordials. 

But  death  was  too  powerful  to  bee  opposed.  Shee  fell  into  her 
last  sleep  the  night  following,  being  over-powered  bv  her  fainting  fits 
May  the  17.  1667. 

I  cannot  imagine  what  might  induce  these  fainting  fits,  shee  being 
well  delivered  by  her  midwife,  as  she  lay  in  her  bed,  and  the  womb  freed 
afterwards  of  the  after-birth,  and  shee  having  fitting  purgations. 

But  the  women  have  a  custome  to  make  an  upsitting  at  the  4th 
day,  and  to  repel  the  milk  by  outward  applications.  But,  whether  her 
arising  at  the  fourth  day,  or  the  repercussion  of  the  milk  might  help  to 
induce  these  fainting  fits,  I  leave  to  the  more  judicious  thoughts  of  the 
learned  physicians.  But  I  like  not  such  wayes,  which  little  ease  the 
paines  in  the  repelling  of  the  milk. 

It  is  much  better  to  draw  the  breasts,  a  small  quantity  at  a  time, 
now  and  then,  when  they  swell,  and  begin  to  be  painfull ;  and,  after- 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


wards,  to  use  Diachylon  simplex  for  an  emplaister. 
be  eased,  and  they  freed  of  their  milk. 

So  will  the  paine 

Or,  if  the  pain  bee  great,  and  the  breasts  much  sweFd,  and  hard, 
then  to  take  five  parts  fresh  butter,  and  one  part  wine  vinegar,  and  to 
melt  them  leasurely  together,  and  to  dip  linen  cloths  into  this  warme 
mixture,  and  so  to  applie  them  to  the  breast,  squeezing,  somewhat,  the 
moisture  from  the  cloths.  Thus  they  may  bee  freed  of  the  paine,  and 
trouble  of  the  milke,  without  any  danger. 

I  knew  a  Lady,  that  constantly  did  keep  her  bed  a  fortnight 
after  her  delivery. 

And  James  Wolveridge  M.D.  a  late  writer  in  midwifery,  in  his 
book,  speculum  matricis,  adviceth  women  to  keep  their  bed  five  days,  at 
the  lest,  after  delivery.  For  hee  saith,  I  know  'tis  usuall  for  them  to 
rise  at  three  dayes  end ;  but  this  to  bee  sure,  the  longer  women  contain 
themselves  in  their  bed,  the  more  secure  they  are  from  danger  fol.  124. 
And  I  know,  by  experience,  that  his  sayings,  in  this  case,  bee  found 
very  true. 

The  piles,  caused  by  great  straining  in  a  hard  labour,  cause  faint- 
ings,  burnings,  and  shootings  in  Ano,  and  have  disquieted  severall 
women,  depriving  them  of  their  naturall  rest,  and  have  driven  them 
to  sad  complaints. 

When  anodyne  medicines  would  give  no  ease,  I  have  cured  by 
bleeding  with  leeches,  and  so  have  instantly  freed  them  of  their  tortures, 
and  have  brought  great  easement,  and  refreshing,  by  this  way,  unto 
their  spirits,  and  bodies. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


Some  women,  within  an  houre's  space  after  delivery,  will  begin  to 
complain  that  they  bee  not  well. 

If  this  paine  continue,  and  their  countenances  alter,  growing  wan, 
and  dusky,  and  that  they,  every  day,  grow  worser,  and  fainter,  and  that 
they  seem  mopish,  and  altered  in  their  understandings,  their  recovery  is 
to  bee  feared. 

This  affliction  followeth  many  women  after  hard  labour,  and 
chiefly  those,  which  have  received  bruises,  or  hurts  in  utero,  vel  vagina 
uteri,  and  they  live  not  past  a  week,  and  usually  they  die  about  that 

In  Holborn,  nigh  the  bars,  at  London,  a  Gentlewoman  was  bruised 
in  vagina  uteri,  suffering  a  harsh,  and  long  labour  for  several!  dayes. 
And,  although  the  after-burden  was  wholly,  without  any  laceration, 
drawn  away,  yet,  by  degrees,  shee  fainted,  and,  within  a  week,  died. 
Anno  1663. 

It  is  not  good  to  have  the  vagina  uteri  softish,  like  puffe-past,  or 
dough.  If,  casually,  at  unawares,  the  midwife's  fingers  make  any  im- 
pression in  it,  either  in  the  woman's  labour,  or  whilest  that  shee 
endeavoureth  to  fetch  the  after-birth,  it  suddenly  bringeth  an  alteration, 
arid  decay  in  the  woman's  body,  and,  oft,  it  endeth  in  death. 

Thus  have  I  known  some  women  to  perish;  and  the  woman, 
without  much  paine,  or  complaining,  will  strangely  fade  away. 

Goodwife  Jackson,  of  Nun-greene  at  Darby,  being  in  labour ;  her 
midwife,  after  much  striving,  finding,  That  it  was  past  her  skill  to  deliver 
her,  desired,  with  other  women,  that  I  might  bee  sent  for. 

Within  an  houre  after  her  delivery,  a  heavy,  deep  sleep  seized  on 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


her,  and  shee  continued  so  sleeping,  not  at  all  awakening,  and  so  died, 
as  the  woman  told  mee. 

What  might  bee  the  cause  of  this  continuance  of  sleeping,  I 
could  not  learne.  Whether  a  lethargy,  or  vapours  ascending  from  the 
womb  to  the  braine,  or  anything  of  blood,  clotting  in  the  womb. 

Anno  1633  I  was  at  Bunny  in  Nottinghamshire,  with  a  woman 
in  the  time  of  her  travaile.  After  each  labour,  shee  immediately  fell  into 
a  deep  sleep  so  soon  as  shee  was  delivered,  and  so  continued  sleeping  for 
twelve  houres,  or  longer,  without  any  motion. 

And,  by  degrees,  afterwards  shee  awaked,  and  came  to  herself, 
bat  had  long,  afterwards,  a  dulnes,  with  mopishment  seizing  on  her 
understanding,  which  happened,  as  was  thought,  upon  severall,  inward, 
concealed  discontents. 

Vomiting  in  labour,  and  continuing  after  delivery,  is  not  to  bee  liked. 

The  wife  of  Mr.  Eobert  Ring,  Apothecary  in  Darby,  did  vomit 
much  in  the  time  of  her  labour,  and  it  continued  after  the  time  of  her 
delivery.  Being  called,  by  her  husband,  unto  her,  medicines  were  used, 
which  stayed  it  for  an  houre.  But  it  returned  again,  and  would  .bee  no 
more  checked.  Shee  died,  of  this  vomiting,  within  few  houres  after 
her  delivery. 

In  my  thoughts,  I  supposed,  That,  through  this  long  continued 
vomiting,  there  happened  a  convulvulus  in  the  gut  ileon,  as  it  did  to 
Goodwife  Oldam. 

Mrs  Elizabeth  Parker  begun  to  bee  in  labour  January  the  twentieth, 
being  Thursday  1669.  Shee  suffered  much  affliction,  under  the  mid- 
wife's hands,  untill  Sunday  morning,  and  then  shee  was  delivered.     Shee 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

lost  much  blood  that  day,  oft  flowing  by  pashes,  and  fainted.  Tuesday, 
the  twenty  fifth,  sliee  vomited,  and  scoured.  Thursday,  the  twenty 
seventh  day,  being  the  eighth  day  from  the  beginning  of  her  travaile, 
shee  died  in  the  afternoone.  All  these  passages  were  related  to  mee 
by  her  Mother. 

Not,  upon  the  account  of  women  labouring  of  child,  yet,  upon  a 
suspicion  of  a  convolvulus  in  a  woman,  not  with  child,  nor  in  child-bed, 
this  following  prescript  was  used  with  good  successe ; 

B:  Mercurii  vivi  ^m]  ol.  amygd.  %\s  maim.  $i  cum  posseto  fact, 
ex  alias  ^iiij  vel  q.  s.     1$,  fiat  haustus. 

Some  of  this  Mercury  came  away  twelve  houres  after,  the  rest  at 
other  times. 

I  beleeve  that  this  may  prove  an  excellent,  good  medicine  in  this 
extreme  disease,  without  any  danger;  if  purging  bee  feared,  then  to 
leave  forth  the  manna. 

Enema  contra  Iliacam  passionem. 

R  vini  albi  lbj  butyri  recentis  sine  sale  3uij  ol.  olivar.  ^ij  sem. 
anisi,  carui,  dauci,  ammeos,  carthami  aa  ^ii  Coquantur  s.  a.  et  colentur. 
Adde  mellis  rosar.  3U  sacchar.  rubr.  ^ij  salis  31  vitel.  ovor.  n°i,  fiat  en- 
ema S.  A. 

Pareus  fol.  291  inquit.  Preestat  enim,  in  morbis  desperatis, 
anceps  remedium  experiri,  quam  nullum. 

Melius  est  anceps  remedium  experiri,  quam  nullum,  cum  multi, 
citra  spem,  mirabiliter  sanentur.     Celsus  lib.  2.     cap.  10. 

And,  when  other  medicines  prevaile  not,  why  may  not  such  meanes 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


bee  used  ?  when  that  other  medicines  afford  no  relief,  to  save  the  woman's 

Scouring  for  the  most  part  proves  fatall,  if  that  it  happen  in  the 
first  seven  dayes.  And  it  is  much  to  bee  feared,  although  it  come  twelve, 
or  fourteen  dayes  after  delivery.  I  have  known  it  fatall  to  severall 
women,  yet  some  few  have  recovered. 

Mrs.  Hoden,  of  Aston,  being  in  a  consumption,  and  short-winded, 
through  weaknes,  had  her  neck,  and  body  distorted.  Shee  desired  that 
I  would  bee  with  her  in  the  time  of  her  labour. 

Shee  was  well  laid  by  her  midwife,  and  her  child  liveth. 

But,  to  her  weaknes,  after  her  delivery,  a  scouring  was  added, 
which  took  her  from  her  relations  within  ten  dayes  following  Jul.  31. 

A  very  good  woman,  a  Physician's  wife,  lying  in  child-bed,  was 
taken  with  a  loosenes,  about  the  fourth  day  after  her  delivery.  And 
suddenly,  in  a  strang  manner,  her  breasts  fell,  within  an  houre  after 
this  loosenes  began,  being,  before,  much  swel'd,  and  full  of  milk. 

Her  husband  was  a  learned  Gentleman,  and  had  good  successe  in 
his  undertakings.  No  endeavours,  waves,  or  means,  that  art  could 
afford  for  her  recovery,  were  left  unattempted. 

But  shee  dayly  weakened,  and,  being  brought  low,  and  much  spent 
with  scouring,  after  some  twelve  dayes  affliction,  shee  died  at  the  begin- 
ning of  September  1664,  having  her  senses  perfect,  when  that  shee 
could  not  speake,  knowing  every  particular  person,  and  shaking  mee  by 
the  hand  a  small  time  before  her  departure. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Joane  Smith,  the  wife  of  Thomas  Smith,  a  currier  in  Darby, 
dwelling  in  S.  Peter's  Parish,  was  delivered,  by  mee,  of  a  dead  child, 
and  the  arme  came  first.  I  turned  the  birth,  and  delivered  her  by  the 
child's  feet  July  the  18.  1662  die  Yenis  ante  meridiem. 


Her  midwife  had  much  haled,  and  pulled,  and  torne  her  body,  on 
one  side,  into  the  fundament. 

Some  three,  or  foure  dayes,  after  her  delivery,  her  belly  rumbled, 
and  pained  her.  Her  Husband's  mother  gave  her  a  posset,  in  which 
shee  had  mixed  some  common  treacle.  After  the  drinking  of  it,  shee 
had  a  great  losenes,  with  much  paine  in  her  belly,  and  I  much  feared 
her  recovery.  Shee  took  cinamon  water  with  Diascordium,  and  the 
powder  of  acornes  with  their  husks ;  also  white  pepper  boiled  with  milk. 
Also  shee  had  tins  medicine ; 

Of  the  inward  green  bark  of  an  oake  a  handfull ;  cinamon  two 
penyworth ;  almonds  blanched  an  handfull  beaten ; 

All  these  were  boiled  in  three  pints  of  new  milk  to  half,  and 
sweetened  with  hard  sugar,  or  boile  the  sugar  with  the  milk ;  of  which 
shee  tooke  half  a  pint  at  a  time,  warmed ;  which  medicine  was  given  to 
her  by  her  friends,  and  the  women  about  her. 

But  none  of  these  stayed  it. 
following  medicine,  a  little  warmed ; 

At  last  was  given  to  her  this 

Take  Spanish  white  half  an  ounce ;  fine  wheat  flower  an  ounce ; 
good  cinamon  in  the  stick,  broken,  and  bruised,  two  drachmes;  new 
milk,  a  pint,  and  a  half;  hard  loaf  sugar  as  much,  as  will  sweeten  it  to 
the  patient's  tast,  or  desire.  Or,  in  a  pint  of  milk  you  may  boile  the 
sugar,  and  cinamon  to  one  half.     In  the  other  half  pint  of  milk  blend 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  Spanish  white,  and  the  wheat  floure,  and,  being  well  mixt,  put  it 
into  the  milk  as  it  stands  on  the  fire,  and  so  boile  it  leasurely,  ever 
stirring  it,  untill  it  come  to  bee  as  thick  as  a  custard. 

Of  this  shee  took  a  good  mess,  or  porringer-full  at  pleasure. 
Shee  said,  that  it  was  good,  and  did  much  comfort  her.  It  stayed  her 
loosenes  at  the  first  taking,  and  freed  her  of  her  paines.  Shee  had 
it  made  without  sugar. 

We  anointed  her  belly  with  oile  of  charity  to  her  groine ;  where 
the  paine  was  fixt  was  laid  emplastrum  Saponis  spread  on  leather ;  and 
to  the  fissure,  or  rift  of  the  fundament  was  used  Balsamum  Lucatellse. 

Thus,  with  God's  mercifull  permission,  shee  was  again  recovered. 

This  poor  woman  could  not  sleep.  There  were  prepared  two 
good  red  nutmegs,  full  of  sap.  They  were  grated,  and,  afterwards,  mixed 
with  the  yolke  of  two  new  laid  egges,  well  beaten,  to  which  mixture  was 
added  half  a  spoonfull  of  salt,  and  so  made  into  a  salve.  This  was 
spread  betweene  two  thin  linen  cloths,  and  so  laid  all  over  her  forehead, 
and  downe  to  her  temples.  .  And  this,  applied  warme,  caused  her  to 
sleep  quietly,  and  was  a  great  help  to  her  recovery. 

After  all  these  afflictions,  upon  a  bruise,  which  shee  received, 
within  a  moneth,  shee  suffered  much  paine  on  the  left  side  of  her  belly, 
and  had  there  an  impostume,  which  came  to  suppuration,  and  was 
afterwards  cured.  Shee  recovered  all  her  sufferings,  and  is  now  living, 
and  in  good  health  June  6.  1671. 

Yet  all  do  not  recover.  For  I  had  a  kinswoman,  lying  in  child- 
bed, who  had  an  impostume  in  her  groin,  that  came  to  suppuration. 
Out  of  it  issued  some  corruption,  with  some  excrements  of  her  bowels. 

dd  % 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Severall   applications   were  used  for  her  recovery,  but   they    did   not 
prevaile,  for  a  while  shee  languished,  and  so  died. 

A  poor  Collier's  wife  in  Cosall  March,  in  Nottinghamshire  in  Sep- 
tember 1666,  was  taken  with  a  loosen es  in  her  lying  in  child-bed.  It 
was  stayed  with  Spanish  white,  and  wheat  floure,  made,  as  afore 
directed.  Shee  could  not  sleep.  I  gave  her  a  nights  (as  occasion  re- 
quired) pil.  pacifica,  upon  which  shee  took  good  rest,  and  so  recovered. 

Afterwards,  shee  had  an  impostume,  which  brake  in  her  ham,  the 
which,  with  fit  applications,  was  cured,  and  shee  recovered. 

December  the  twelfth  1670  Jane,  the  wife  of  Ralph  Spencer,  a 
weaver,  having  a  quartane  ague,  was  delivered  by  her  midwife,  of  a 
female  infant,  that  lived  some  six,  or  seven  weeks,  and  then  died. 

Foure  dayes  after  her  delivery  a  scouring  came  upon  her,  and 
continued  three  dayes,  before  any  body  came  to  mee,  to  desire  my  help. 

I  caused  a  pint  of  milk  to  bee  divided  into  two  equall  parts.  In 
one  part  I  mixed  a  spoon-full  and  an  half  of  fine  wheat  floure,  and  a 
spoon-full  of  shaven  chalk. 

The  other  part  I  did  set  on  a  gentle  fire,  to  seeth.  When  it 
boiled  up,  I  put  into  it  that  part  of  milk,  which  had  the  floure  and 
chalk,  Avell  mixed  with  it,  and  stirred  together  well  as  they  boiled,  untill 
it  came  to  bee  thick.  Then  was  some  butter,  and  a  little  nutmeg  grated 
added  to  it,  of  which  shee  took  as  oft  as  shee  pleased. 

I  gave  her  the  chalk  pap,  of  which  shee  took  as  shee  pleased. 
And  for  that  shee  was  thirsty,  and  coveted  drink,  shee  had  black 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


pepper  boiled  whole  in  milk,  of  which  shee  took  severall  times  warmed, 
with  some  whole  corns  of  the  pepper  first  and  last. 

By  these  two  medicines,  within  two  dayes,  her  loosenes  was 
stopped,  and  her  thirst  was  taken  away. 

After  her  loseues  was  stayed,  the  next  day  her  left  leg  began  to 
swell,  and,  the  swelling  did  increase  to  a  very  great  bignes.  It  became 
very  painfull,  and  cold.  It  was  like  a  blowen  bladder,  and  glistened. 
I  was  afraid  of  a  mortification.  I  caused  a  mild  lee  of  wood  ashes  to  bee 
made.  In  the  cleare  of  it,  three  pints,  was  boiled  a  handfull  of  dried 
wormwood,  with  as  much  of  elder  bark ;  and,  in  the  boiling,  was  added 
to  it  a  lump  of  alum,  the  quantity  of  a  hen's  egge,  and  a  spoonfull  of 

With  this  liquour,  very  hot  made,  her  leg  was  fomented,  with 
thick  stuphs  dipped  in  it,  and  wrung  hard  forth,  and  applied  to  her  leg. 

And,  when  they  began  to  bee  cold,  they  were  taken  away,  and  hot 
ones  again  applied.  Thus  was  it  fomented  for  half  an  houre.  Then 
was  a  hot  stuph,  (after  the  moisture  was  squeezed  forth)  applied  round 
her  leg,  and  rouled  on,  and  so  was  shee  dressed  every  foure,  or  six 
houres.  Shee  did  find  much  ease,  and  comfort  by  the  fomentation,  and 
the  swelling  abated. 

When  the  swelling  was  nigh  half  abated,  a  great  blister,  or  two 
did  arise  between  the  calf  of  her  leg,  and  her  ancle,  the  which  did  break, 
and  out  of  her  legs  did  run  much  clear  water,  which  also  was  cured  by 
the  fomentation. 

Shee  lay  in  a  moist,  cold  house,  and  the  walls  were  full  of  great 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And  that  night,  these  blisters  did  arise,  her  leg  was  very  cold,  and 
full  of  ach.  Shee  was  anointed  with  blast  salve,  and  an  ordinary  em- 
plaister  was  laid  over  the  sores. 

Shee  was  long  afflicted  with  a  quartane  ague,  before  shee  was 
delivered,  and,  it  continued  severall  moneths,  after  her  delivery,  and  her 
leg  not  quite  fallen,  and  the  sore  did  run  a  little,  but  it  no  way  troubled 
her.  In  the  morning  the  swelling  was  fallen,  but,  at  night,  the  swelling 
did  somewhat  return.  Yet,  at  the  last,  shee  was  perfectly  recovered  of 
her  swellings,  and  of  her  quartane  ague. 

Concerning  excoriations,  and  retention  of  the  part  of  the  after- 
birth, with  the  danger  of  it,  and  of  the  false  conception,  or  mole,  see 
Dr  Harvey  in  these  words  of  the  birth. 

It  often  befalls  women  (especially  the  more  tender  sort)  that  the 
after  purgings,  being  corrupted,  and  grown  noisome  within,  do  call  in 
fevers,  and  other  grievous  symptomes. 

For  the  womb  being  excoriated  by  the  separation  of  the  after- 
burden  (especially  if  the  separation  was  violent)  like  a  larg,  inward 
ulcer,  is  cleansed,  and  mundified  by  the  liberall  emanations  of  the  after- 

And,  hereupon,  we  conclude  of  the  welfare,  or  danger  of  a  woman 
in  childbed,  according  to  her  excretions. 

If  any  part  of  the  after-burden  bee  left  sticking  to  the  uterusAthe 
after -purgings  will  flow  forth  evil  sented,  greene,  and  as  if  they  pro- 
ceeded from  a  dead  body,  and,  sometimes,  the  courage,  and  strength  of 
the  womb  being  quite  vanquished,  a  sudden  gangrene  doth  induce  a 
certain  death. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Or,  if  it  bee  rent  from  the  sides  of  the  womb,  corruption  of 
blood  may  follow,  and  so  may  come  inflammation,  an  abscesse,  or  a 
mortall  gangrene. 

As  I  have  had  experience  in  a  woman,  which,  lying  very  sick  of 
a  malignant  fever,  and  being  very  weake,  did  suffer  an  abortion ;  who, 
after  the  exclusion  of  the  foetus,  which  was  incorrupt,  and  entire,  yet 
lay  exceeding  weak,  with  a  disorderly  pulse,  in  a  cold  sweat,  as  if  shee 
were  a  dying. 

I  perceived  the  orifice  of  the  womb  was  lax,  soft,  and  very  open, 
and  her  after  purgings  something  noisome.  Whereupon  I  suspected, 
That  something  did  lurk  in  her  womb,  which  did  putrefy.  And,  putting 
in  my  hand,  I  extracted  a  false  conception,  as  big  as  a  goose  egge} 
which  was  made  of  a  most  thick,  nervous,  and,  almost,  gristly  substance, 
having  some  perforations  in  it,  whereout  did  issue  a  viscid,  putrefied 
matter,  and  immediately,  upon  this,  shee  was  discharged  of  those  griev- 
ous symptoms,  and  suddenly,  after,  did  perfectly  recover. 

Dr  Primrose  saith  fol.  307  Mulierem,  tamen,  novi,  quee,  post 
partum  unius  fcetus,  per  duos  menses,  gravissimis  conflictata  est  symp- 
tomatis,  nee  ulla  spes  vitas  adesset.  Exclusit  alterius  foetus  cadaver,  in 
saniem  tetram,  et  virulentam  conversum,  cum,  tamen,  nihil  tale  medici 
suspicarentur,  et  convaluit,  atq.  ter,  postea,  feliciter  peperit.     fol.  307. 

For  bruises  aud  excoriations. 

Goodwife  Bayly,  about  the  year  1633,  had  a  perverse,  peevish, 
ignorant  midwife.  Shee  violently  pulled,  and  haled  her  body  a  long 
time.  Being  sent  for,  tins  midwife  much  disliked  of  my  comming,  and 
still  shee  proceeded  her  own  wayes.     But,  at  last,  finding  her  expecta- 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

tion  to  faile,  shee  was  contented,  That  I  should  take  her  in  hand.  But 
I  then  refused,  untill  I  had  the  opinions  of  two  divines,  Mr.  Eyre,  and 
Mr.  Wyarsdale,  ministers  in  Darby.  And,  although  I  beleeved  that, 
through  the  midwife's  usage,  the  infant  was  destroyed ;  yet  I  would  not 
draw  it  with  the  crochet,  before  I  had  their  opinions ;  whether,  in  case 
of  necessity,  and  danger,  to  save  the  woman's  life,  I  might,  with  a  safe 
conscience,  do  it,  and  not  bee  guilty  of  the  child's  death.  They  viewed 
the  distressed  woman,  and,  after  some  conference  with  her,  without  any 
debate  it  was  concluded  by  these  Divines  in  the  affirmative  part,  That  I 
might  lawfully  do  it,  although  the  child  should  bee  alive,  to  save  the 
woman's  life. 

It  being  so  concluded,  I  placed  the  woman,  for  her  own  ease, 
sitting  in  a  woman's  lap  before  her 

Then  came  her  midwife,  and  desired  to  bee  placed  next  unto  mee, 
in  hopes,  to  have  seen  what  I  did.  Shee  had  her  desire,  but  saw  nothing 
of  the  work,  by  reason  that  her  coates  covered  my  armes,  and  the 
woman's  body,  all  the  time  of  the  operation ;  for  that  I  was  willing  to 
keep  her  in '  sufficient  ignorance ;  first,  to  qualifie  her  lofty  pride ; 
secondly  not  to  encourage  her  in  her  evil  wayes  of  using  pothooks,  or 
pot  ladles,  with  which  shee,  formerly,  had  made  ill  work ;  together  with 
her  nailes,  having  set  deep  scratches  on  the  faces,  and  bodies  of  severall 
infants.     I  quickly  drew  the  infant,  that  was  dead. 

Afterwards,  this  woman  seemed  to  recover.  But,  after  a  week's 
time,  severall  corrupted  skins,  hanging  at  the  labia  vulvas,  separated 
from  her  body,  and  came  away.  After  tins,  shee  altered  in  her,  counten- 
ance, and,  sitting,  or  lying  in  a  mopish  condition,  not  minding,  or 
regarding  any  thing,  nor  taking  notice  of  any  person,  or  what  was  said, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


or  done  unto  her ;  with  daily  fading  insensibly,  after  a  moneth's  linger- 
ing, shee  died. 

John  Besecht's  daughter,  dwelling  in  the  Morlage  in  Darby,  being 
hardly  used,  by  her  midwife,  in  labour,  through  haling,  stretching  the 
birthplace,  had  severall  large  skins,  very  stinking,  comming,  and 
separating  from  the  vagina  uteri. 

I  oft  injected  with  new  milk,  boiled,  and  cooled  againe,  and 
tinctured  with  saffron  lightly,  and  sweetened  with  honey  of  roses,  a  little 
warmed,  when  it  was  used.  And  it  pleased  God  shee  recovered,  beyond 
expectation.  Shee  was  ever  sensible,  and  nothing,  otherwise,  altered  in 
mind,  or  body. 

Goodwife  Rag,  after  her  sufferings,  was  long  weak,  and  much 
enfeebled  in  the  retentive  power  of  holding  her  water,  and  could  not 
retain  it,  but  it  came  dribling  from  her,  both  day,  and  night.  Also, 
severall  skins,  enfolding  much  gravel,  and  sandy,  small  stones  shee 
voided,  yet,  at  last,  shee  recovered. 

I  have  observed,  where  skins,  and  such  like  filth,  in  childbed, 
come  away,  that  all  such  women  bee  in  danger  of  death,  and  that 
severall  perish  through  such  sufferings,  though  some,  with  difncultnes, 
bee  cured. 

But  I  never  knew  any  woman,  where  the  livery  colour  of  their 
faces  altered,  and  became  swarthy,  especially  where  the  woman  did  be- 
come mopish,  little  regarding  any  person,  or-what  was  said,  or  done  to 
her,  but  that  all  such  perished. 

I  was  desired,  and  sent  for  by  a  Lady,  Anno  1640,  that,  in  her 





Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  Lady      travaile,  was  disquieted  with  some  unusuall,  and  inward  paines  in  the 
birth-place,  and  would  not  endure  to  put  down  her  throwes. 

The  head  came  first.  But  the  ignorant  midwife,  not  knowing 
how  to  assist  her,  let  the  child  stick  at  the  neck,  and  shoulders,  after 
that  the  head  was  in  the  world. 

The  Ladie's  paines  were  augmented.  Shee  called  mee  to  help  her, 
but  the  midwife  would  have  had  mee  put  by,  and  said,  That  my  Lady 
must  stay  God's  time,  and  pleasure.  I  put  the  midwife  aside,  and  find- 
ing the  child's  head  in  the  world,  I  assured  her,  that  shee  was  but 
ignorant  in  midwifery. 

I  slid  my  finger  under  the  child's  arme-pit,  and,  nudging  the 
child  on  one  side,  and  drawing  withall,  the  Lady  was  immediately  de- 

Shee  was  well  for  three,  or  foure  dayes.  Then  shee  began  to  bee 
sorely  pained,  and  to  have  an  ill,  and  unsavoury  smell  iu  her  privy  parts, 
and  could  not  hold  her  water. 

Small, '  greety  stones,  in  the  time  of  her  travailing,  were  fallen 
downe  into  the  neck  of  her  bladder,  before  the  child  had  entered  the 
bones.  These  stones  were  the  cause  of  the  augmenting  of  her  sufferings. 
And  the  child's  head  and  body,  as  it  passed,  pressed  on  these  stones. 
The  vagina  uteri  was  hurt,  and  bruised.  Sorenes  followed  in  the  flesh, 
and  a  large  piece  rotted,  and  separated  in  the  neck  of  the  bladder,  and 
the  stones  came  away  wrapped  in  the  flesh,  and  skins. 

Shee  recovered,  in  part,  after  long  time,  with  some  sufferings ; 
and  had  many  children  after  tins  mishap,  but  never,  afterwards,  could 
hold  her  water.     I  was  all  the  time  with  her,  during  her  cure,  and  I 

greatly  pitied  her  good  Husband  &c. 
chirurgion  lib.  2.  ch.  9.  fol.  115. 

See   Guillhneau  the   French 

I  was  desired  to  visit  a  woman  at  long  Eaton  Anno  1634,  about 
a  quarter  of  a  yeare  after  her  lying  in  child-bed.  Shee  was  troubled 
with  much  pain  m  her  back,  and  flanks.  Shee  found  ease  by  what  was 
administered  for  the  present,  but,  after  a  little  intermission  of  time,  her 
disquiets  returned  again,  and  shee  became  worser. 

And  for  that  her  closiers  were  stained  with  such  humour,  as  mid- 
wives  call  oake-water,  and  for  that  it  had  a  stinking,  suffocating  sent,  I 
imagined,  that  some  evil  might  lurke  about  those  places,  in,  or  nigh  the 

Upon  searching,  I  found  severall  tumours  in  vagina  uteri,  as  great 
as  small  beanes,  following  one  another,  as  though  they  had  been  beads 
stringed  for  a  bracelet.  These  cancerous  tumours  tormented  her.  I 
intended  to  have  used  a  decoction  of  china,  with  sarsaperilla  &c.  with 
some  injections.  But  shee  grew  a  weary  of  mee,  and  committed  her 
self  to  a  new  runnagate  Dr,  that  greatly  boasted  of  his  cures,  and 
abilities.  Hee  was  found,  at  last,  to  bee  a  fugitive,  broken  butcher,  that 
could  neither  read,  or  write,  and,  under  his  cure,  uncured,  Shee  died 
cancerous  in  her  body. 

There  came  a  Gentlewoman  unto  mee,  complaining  of  great  paine, 
and  distemperatures  of  the  womb.  I  gave  her  the  best  counsell  that  I 
could,  but  shee  had  no  ease  by  the  prescriptions.  Shee  intreated  mee  to 
search  her  body,  whether,  in  it,  might  bee  perceived  any  thing  to  bee 
amisse.     Anno  1668. 

By  my  finger,  I  found  a  great,  larg  tumour,  spreading  over  a  great 







Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

of  Staf- 

part  of  the  outside  of  the  womb,  and  I  feared,  that  it  might,  at  last, 
prove  cancerous,  for  that  it  was  hard,  and  scirrhous,  and  had  frequent 
shootings,  and  stinges  in  it. 

I  told  her  then,  That  I  was  doubtfull  what,  in  time,  might  happen ; 
yet,  to  allay  her  feares,  and  to  mitigate  her  present  sufferings,  I  would 
use  my  best  endeavours ;  and,  withall,  desired  her,  in  this  doubtfull  case, 
to  see,  if  that  shee  could  get,  from  any  other,  better  hopes  of  cure. 

It  was  her  good  hap  to  bee  a  patient  to  a  learned,  and  most 
judicious  Doctor  in  physic.  And  hee,  with  his  golden  turpeth,  did  ease 
her.  But  shee  would  not  bee  ruled  to  follow  his  directions.  After  her 
delivery,  the  tumours,  and  paines  increased  again,  and  hindered  her 
going  to  the  stoole,  and  the  making  of  water,  through  the  greatnes  of 
the  inward  swellings,  and  so,  with  much  affliction,  shee  died. 

The  womb  is  a  principall  part,  which  doth  draw  the  whole  body 
into  consent  with  it. 

I  was  sent  for  to  visit  a  good  woman,  that  had  miscarried,  after 
that  shee  was  gone  two  moneths  with  child. 

Shee  was  troubled  with  some  unusual!  paines  in  the  womb,  and 
had,  there,  sores,  and  swellings,  from  whence  ill  sented  humours  issued. 

Her  Physician,  in  my  judgement,  had  taken  the  onely  way  to  cure 
her,  and  such  a  way,  as  I  should  have  adviced  her,  and  all  other  women, 
in  her  condition,  to  follow ;  and,  by  it,  from  the  part  afflicted,  had  made 
a  diversion  of  the  violent  force  of  humours,  and  had  asswaged  the 
raging  tortures  of  her  paines. 

But  the  evil,  being  fixed  in  the  womb,  would  not  be  wholly  re- 
moved, but  recalled  again  the  humours  of  the  place  affected,  and,  by 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


degrees,  the  cancerous  ulcer  grew  violent,  and,  with  shooting,  and  sting- 
ing pains,  accompanied  with  noisome  emanations,  her  dayes,  at  last, 
were  terminated;  and,  after  her  miscarriage  some  6  months,  shee  died. 

I  was  with  an  Honorable  Lady  1632,  and  a  learned  Dr  of 
Physick  did  attend  her  Honour.  Shee,  oft,  violently  flouded,  and  was 
let  blood,  to  turne  the  streame.  Shee  had  pessaries  made  of  hog's  dung, 
with  bole  Armeniack,  and  alume,  and  mixed  together  with  whites  of 
egges.  For  better  help,  shee  went  to  London,  in  hopes,  to  have  the 
best  relief,  that  art  could  afford. 

The  womb  proved  cancerous.  At  last,  without  any  helpe,  more 
then  some  mitigation  of  her  paines,  of  this  infirmity  shee  died. 

A  woman  in  Darby,  upon  a  fright,  did  fall  into  flouding  per 
uterum.  Shee  did  not,  for  severall  moneths,  regard  this  flux.  But,  at 
last,  shee  sent  for  mee,  and  desired  my  help.  I  found  a  hard  scirrhous 
tumour,  occasioned  by  this  flux,  seized  on  the  one  side  of  the  womb, 
and  on  some  part  of  the  vagina  uteri,  which  hindered  the  free  passage 
of  the  water. 

Her  case  was  sent  unto  the  learned  Doctours  at  London,  and  to 
the  most  expert  chirurgions  of  that  place. 

Some  appointed  traumatical!  decoctions,  and  mercurius  dulcis  to 
bee  given. 

But  this  scirrhous  tumour  dayly  increased,  very  much  stopping 
her  water,  and  her  going  to  stoole,  by  straitening  the  passages ;  and,  of 
this  affliction,  at  last,  shee  died. 

This  affliction  frequently  happeneth,  when  the  women  bee  past 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

forty  jrears  aged,  growing  towards  fifty,  and  this  fiouding,  being  neglected 
i7i  the  beginning,  oft  breedeth  an  nncnrable  cancer. 

Hippocr.  Aphor.  lib.  6.  ap.  40. 

Cancros  occultos  melius  est  omnes  non  curare ;  curati  enim  citb 
pereunt,  non  curati  autem  longius  tempus  perdurant. 

There  came  to  mee  to  Darby  a  woman,  dwelling  nigh  Lichfield  in 
Staffordshire,  that  had  a  cancerous  ulcer  in  her  womb. 

Shee  told  mee  many  good  morrows,  and  stories  of  women,  that 
had  such  infirmities,  and  how  severall  of  them  were  eased  by  salivation. 

For  her  cure,  I  desired  a  Dr  in  physic,  my  good  friend,  to  let  mee 
have  his  counsell.  Hee  put  mee  in  mind  of  the  Aphorisme,  and  willed 
mee  to  use  traumaticall  decoctions,  and,  sometimes,  to  divert  the  humour 
by  salivation  with  mercurius  dulcis,  giving  it  once,  or  twice  a  weeke. 

I  gave  it,  mixed  with  conserve  of  roses  in  a  spoonfull  of  posset 
drink.  The  mercury  spotted  the  silver  spoone,  and  so  shee  found  what 
it  was.  It  vomited,  and  purged  her,  and,  I  beleeve,  would  have  raised 
a  flux,  if  that  shee  would  have  continued  the  taking  of  it. 

But  shee  was  discontented  with  the  working  of  it.  So  shee  left 
mee,  and  took  one,  that  had  been  lately  a  Divine,  and  was  now  become 
a  practicer  in  physic. 

And  hee  gloried  much,  that,  by  his  medicines,  hee  had  driven 
forth  two  cancers  out  of  her  body.  It  should  seem  to  mee,  by  the  re- 
lation of  those,  from  whom  I  had  the  information,  That  shee  twice 
flouded,  and,  at  each  time,  avoided  clotters  of  blood,  which  his  ignorance 
falsely  conceived  to  bee  the  cancers. 

Percivall  Wiliughby,  Gentleman. 


JBut,  at  last,  shee  went  away  from  Darby,  and  made  use  of  the 
utmost  of  her  strength,  to  make  some  beleeve,  That  shee  was  cured. 

In  the  conclusion,  shee,  and  her  physician  disagreed ;  and  hee  was 
so  vexed,  that,  in  his  passion,  hee  threatened  to  send  her  a  letter  that 
should  twist  her  ears  together. 

What  hee  did,  I  know  not ;  but  I  am  sure,  that  shee  was  made 
in  a  worser  condition  by  him.  Shee  became  ill,  and  weak,  her  paines 
every  day  increased,  and  her  body  smelt  unsavourily,  and  her  linens 
were  stained  with  the  humours,  and  did  so  loathsomely  smell,  that  those, 
which  were  attending  about  her,  did  very  unwillingly  wash  them.  Yet 
this  ignorant,  confident  upstart  was  not  ashamed  to  report,  That  this 
woman  was  cured  by  hiin. 

In  her  extremity,  shee  put  herself  under  a  third  Physician.  Ex- 
tremity of  paine  made  her  willing  to  bee  fluxed.  Hee  salivated  her, 
and,  in  the  salivation,  shee  died. 

A  worthy,  good  "Lady,  having  been  formerly  troubled  with  a  flux 
of  blood,  which  came  by  pashes  in  her  child-bed,  desired  mee  to  come  to 
her.  I  made  no  delay  to  go,  but  shee  was  delivered  before  my  comming. 
Her  infirmity  did  adhere  to  her  body,  yet  not  in  a  violent  way.  So, 
after  a  week's  staying  with  her,  perceiving  some  amendment,  I  returned, 
leaving  her  to  follow  the  directions  of  her  former  physicians,  but  they 
did  not  cure  her. 

Shee  went  to  London,  and  returned  not  cured,  and  brought  with 
her  this  direction  from  a  woman,  that  had  been  formerly,  so  afflicted,  as 
this  Lady  was. 

R  red  wine,  good  Alicant,  and  plantane  water,  of  each  half  a 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

pint,  two  or  three  ounces  of  double  refined  sugar.  Boile  all  these  to- 
gether very  well.  Of  which  shee  took  every  morning  fasting,  and  at 
foure  in  the  afternoone,  and  at  night  going  into  bed,  two,  or  three 
spoonfulls  blood  warme. 

After  shee  had  taken  these  things,  if  that  the  whites  should 
trouble  her,  then  to  take  tins  following. 

B  new  milk  a  quart,  of  comfry,  and  yarrow,  and  shepheard's 
pouch,  of  each  an  handfull,  of  clary  six  handfulls.  Boile  these  herbs  in 
the  milk,  unti'll  it  come  to  a  pint ;  then  drink  every  morning  before  shee 
did  rise,  and  at  night,  after  shee  was  in  bed,  half  a  pottinger  full  thereof, 
blood-warme,  or  warmer,  if  shee  pleased. 

Dr  Wea- 

Shee  was  visited,  a  yeare,  or  two  afterwards,  by  one  of  her  London 
physicians,  a  man  of  excellent  parts,  and  full  of  much  practice.  Hee 
adviced  her  to  take  the  inward  bark  of  an  oake,  and  to  bruise  it,  and  to 
distill  it  three  times.  And,  in  a  wine  glassfull  of  this  water,  to  put  as 
much  of  the  powder  of  lapis  hoematites,  as  would  lie  on  a  groat,  and 
the  like  quantity  of  terra  sigillata.  Yet  shee  was  not  helped  by  these 
medicines,  but  had  a  perpetuall  dropping,  or  mensium  fluor  issuing  from 
her  body. 

I  came,  casually,  to  her  house,  and  shee  intreated  mee  to  stay 
with  her.     I  gave  her  this  drink  of  Lodovicus  Septalius. 

Ii  aquae  lib.  vii  in  qua,  coque  cortices  trium  aurantiorum  acidorum, 
aliquantulum  subviridium;  colaturse  5vuj  Pro  dosi.  The  rinds  were 
cut  in  small  pieces,  and,  at  the  end  of  the  boiling,  I  added  of  mouseare 
a  handfull.  It  stopt  the  flux  for  a  week ;  and,  in  all  her  broths,  I  boiled 
the  same  herb. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman.  * 


After  a  while,  the  flux  returned  again,  and,  after  three,  or  foure 
yeares  continuance,  it  terminated  her  dayes. 

A  London  chirurgion  was  sent  to  her ;  it  was  his  opinion,  That 
shee  had  a  cancer  in  the  inner  part  of  the  womb.  I  cannot  contradict 
his  sayings,  (yet  shee  had  no  evil-senting  fluxes,  or  tumours  to  be  felt) 
for  that  I  beleeve,  and  have  known  long,  dribling,  uterine  fluxes,  very 
oft,  to  have  ended  in  cancerous  tumours. 

I  would  I  could  bring  all  midwives  to  observe  nature's  wayes,  not 
onely  in  some  creatures,  but  also  in  vegetable  plants,  and  trees,  how  shee 
proceedeth  in  her  works,  and  how  shee  ripeneth  all  vegetables,  and  pro- 
duceth  all  creatures,  with  far  greater  ease,  and  speed,  then  art  can  do, 
which  is  but  nature's  handmaid,  and  servant. 

Prom  Shiston,  in  Warwickshire,  a  woman,  great  with  child,  after 
some  jouruey,  came  to  Tamworth  market,  about  the  middle  of  December, 
Anno  1667.  After  her  markets  were  ended,  as  shee  did  ride  homewards, 
by  a  Park  pale,  in  the  highway,  Dame  nature  willed  her  to  alight,  and 
to  tie  her  horse  to  the  pale.  Shee  went  into  the  park  at  Middleton,  in 
which  place  shee  was  speedily  delivered  of  a  living  child. 

The  woman  took  up  the  child,  and  laid  the  after-burden  on  the 
child's  head,  and,  getting  again  on  her  horse  back,  shee  went  unto  a 
friend's  house,  and  carried  her  child  in  her  lap,  about  a  mile  distant  from 
that  place,  and  there,  some  say,  that  shee  stayed  all  that  night ;  And 
that,  the  next  morning,  her  husband  came  unto  her,  and  brought  her, 
and  her  child  home  safely,  to  his  house.  Shee,  and  the  child  bee  living, 
and  in  health  Anno  1671. 

Dorothy  Launt  of  Newbrough  in  Stafford-shire,  being  great 
with  child,  adventured  to  go  from  her  own  house,  on  foot,  three  miles, 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

to  a  market  town  called  Uttoxeter,  by  some  Utceter,  about  the  latter  end 
of  September  1666. 

Returning  home  with  her  husband,  and  with  a  woman,  that  un- 
derstood nothing  in  midwifery,  being  nigh  two  miles  from  her  house, 
shee  was  suddenly  surprized  with  pangs  of  labour. 

Dame  nature  was  at  hand,  and,  in  a  lane,  nigh  Uttoxeter  wood, 
shee  was  there  delivered  of  a  lusty  living  son,  as  shee  kneeled  on  a  bank 
by  the  side  of  a  ditch,  and  there  the  after-burden  came  well  from  her. 

This  assisting  woman,  afterwards  setting  her  on  her  horse,  brought 
her  to  her  husband's  house,  where  shee  well  recovered  her  strength. 
Her  child  lived,  and  was  baptized,  and  named  Walter,  and  is  now  about 
foure  yeares  old  Anno  1669. 

Shee  conceived  again,  and  was,  in  due  time,  delivered  of  another 
son  by  her  midwife,  October  the  sixteenth,  1670,  being  in  her  owne 

So  soon  as  shee  was  delivered,  shee  swooned,  (so  that  the  midwife 
durst  not  adventure  to  fetch  away  the  after-birth)  and  continued  fainting, 
and  swooning  the  space  of  an  houre,  although  the  woman  burnt  feathers 
under  her  nose. 

After  this  time,  shee  came,  a  very  little  space,  unto  her  self,  and 
immediately  fell  into  a  deep  sleep. 

With  much  shaking,  now  and  then,  shee  would  speak  a  word  or 
two,  ever  desiring  them  to  let  her  bee  quiet,  and  to  suffer  her  to  sleep. 

Shee  continued  sleeping  foure  houres,  after  this  time  shee  awaked, 
and,  seing  two  of  her  acquaintance  standing  by  the  bed-side,  said,  Ah 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Mary !  Ah  Anne  !  and,  laying  down  her  head,  as  though  shee  would 
sleep  againe,  shee  departed,  having  still  the  after-birth  in  her  body. 

Her  sister,  Goodwife  Wetton,  came  to  mee  to  know  what  might 
bee  done,  to  cause  the  after-burden  to  come  away.  I  gave  her  the  best 
counsell  I  could,  but  the  woman  was  dead  before  shee  could  come  again 
unto  her. 

Her  sister  told  mee,  That  shee  avoided  much  moisture,  with  blood, 
in  her  swooning,  and  sleeping ;  so  did  another,  that,  afterwards,  washed 
the  cloths.  Shee  died  October  the  sixteenth,  her  son  was  baptized  the 
seventeenth  day,  and  named  Robert,  and,  that  day,  shee  was  buried. 

Margery  Philips  of  Newbrough  in  Staffordshire  December  29  die 
Mercurii  1669. 

After  delivery,  a  fattish  piece  of  flesh,  as  long,  and  thick,  as  the 
midwife's  hand,  comming  from  the  womb,  the  which  the  midwife  said, 
that  shee  put  up  againe,  so  shee  told  mee,  but  I  did  not  see  it. 

Shee  flouded,  and  that  made  the  midwife  desist  from  farther  stri- 
ving, to  get  away  the  after-birth,  and  the  midwife  said,  That  the  after- 
birth did  stick  to  the  side  of  the  woman. 

So  shee  put  her  to  bed,  without  shifting  her  cloths.  The  midwife 
came  to  mee,  about  half  an  houre  past  two  in  the  afternoone.  I  went 
with  her,  and  offered  my  service  to  this  woman.  But  shee  desired  not 
to  bee  stirred,  for  that,  upon  any  motion,  shee  fainted.  And  I  thought, 
standing  by  her,  that  shee  had  been  dying,  and  I  was  glad  that  shee  did 
not  make  use  of  my  help,  for  fear  shee  should  have  died,  under  my 
hands,  in  this  weaknes. 

The  midwife  shifted  her  cloths  about  five  that  night,  and  shee  did 

fp  2 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

eat,  then,  some  bread  and  cheese,  but  continued  losing  blood,  as  the 
midwife  reported.  Shee  was  delivered  by  the  cocks  first  crowing  in  the 
morning.  Shee  died  about  eight  that  night.  But  the  after-burden 
never  came  from  her.      The  child  lived  about  half  a  year,  and  then  died. 

But,  upon  a  second  discourse,  I  found  this  midwife  to  bee  an  ig- 
norant, simple  woman,  and  I  suspected,  That  shee  was  cause  of  this 
woman's  flouding,  as  also  of  her  death,  through  much  strugling  in  her 

In  morbis  desperatis,  sedulam  diligentiani,  extremumque  remedium 
adibendum  esse,  vulgi  calumnia  relicta,  medicique  famap  ost  posita. 
Medicus,  si  mortis  prsedixerit  pericula,  culpa  vacabit. 

This  was  the  second  woman,  that  died  at  Newbrough,  whilest 
that  I  waited  on  the  Lady  Grisell  Egerton,  not  having  the  after-birth 
drawn  away.  They  both  went  to  their  graves,  with  their  after-burdens 
in  their  bodies. 

Have  not  some  women  been  laid,  and  the  after-burden  fetched 
away,  whilest  that  they  had  convulsion  on  them,  and  that  they  have  re- 
covered ? 

It  is,  in  my  thoughts,  much  better  to  fetch  away  the  after-birth, 
so  soon  as  the  woman  is  delivered  (let  the  woman  bee  in  what  condition 
shee  will)  then  to  leave  it  in  the  woman's  body.  So  may  flouding,  and 
issues  of  moisture  cease.  But,  where  the  after-birth  is  retained,  these 
fluxes  never  cease. 

I  never  had  any  woman  under  my  hand  thus  afflicted. 

But  I  have  heard,  That  the  after-birth  hath  been  fetched  away, 
although  the  woman  did  floud  before,  or  in  the  operation.     And  so  their 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


lives  have  been  saved.     But,  where  it  came  not  away,  through  the  flux, 
or  flouding,  they  all  perished. 

A  kinswoman  having  miscarried,  the  midwife  could  not  get  away 
the  after-burden,  which  was  the  cause,  that  shee  oft  flouded  in  a  larg 
quantity ;  my  assistance  was  desired. 

By  reason  of  the  closing  of  her  body,  and  the  lying  on  her  back, 
I  could  not  well  come  to  the  after-burden,  to  get  it  away ;  some  part 
remained  in  her  body.  Yet  shee  flouded  no  more,  and,  after  a  good 
night's  sleep,  the  other  part  of  the  after-burden  came  away,  when  that 
shee  made  water,  and  dropped  into  the  chamber-pot,  and  shee  well 
recovered  her  strength. 

The  after-birth  is  more  easier,  and  better  fetched  away,  as  the 
woman  kneeleth,  then  it  can  bee  as  shee  lyeth  on  her  back. 

Therefore  I  would  have  the  midwives  to  cause  their  women  to 
kneele,  when  that  they  fetch  the  after-burden. 

Francis  Hallowes,  the  usher  of  Ashburn  Schole;  Margaret  his 
wife,  being  aged  about  30  years,  having  had  nine  children,  a  fortnight 
before  shee  travailed,  having  a  tertian  ague,  shee  miscarried  of  the  tenth 
child,  about  the  thirteenth  week  of  her  being  with  child,  in  the  morning, 
about  five  of  the  clock. 

Some  foure  houres  after  her  miscarrying  (being  a  fat  woman)  shee 
fell  into  a  loosenes,  and  died  the  next  morning,  about  the  houre,  in 
which  shee  was  delivered. 

After  her  death,  the  scouring  immediately  ceased,  and  shee  then 
did  swell  so  much  in  her  belly,  and  breasts,  as  they,  that  stood  at  her 
feet,  as  shee  lay  on  the  table,  could  not  see  her  face ;  and  shee  bled 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

much  at  the  mouth,  and  nose,  and,  withall,  flouded  all  that  day.  And 
the  flouding  continued  with  her  in  the  grave,  at  nine  that  night.  Apr. 
28.  1671. 

Thus  Mrs.  Mary  Mercer,  that  was  her  kinswoman,  related,  of  a 
truth,  unto  mee,  who  was  with  her  in  her  labour  all  the  time,  continued 
with  her  both  in  life,  and  death,  and  at  her  buriall. 

I  left  Stafford,  and  went  to  London,  there  to  live,  for  the  better 
education  of  my  children,  in  May  1656. 

And,  by  reason  of  an  Apothecary,  that,  formerly,  had  lived  in 
Stafford,  I  quickly  had  some  practice  in  midwifery,  among  the  meaner 
sort  of  women ; 

And,  through  his  meanes,  was  called  to  a  woman,  that  had  three 
children  at  a  birth,  and  the  midwife  had  brought  away  all  the  after- 
burdens.  The  midwife  feared,  afterwards,  that  there  was  still  a  fourth 
child  remaining  in  the  womb,  for  that  shee  felt  a  great  hard  lump  in  the 
woman's  belly,  and  this  was  the  cause,  why  I  was  sent  for. 

The  tumour  was  as  big  as  a  penny  loaf.  Finding  the  woman  apt 
to  faint,  I  caused  a  large  emplaister  of  crude  Galbanum  to  bee  laid  upon 
her  navell.  Her  paines  were  eased,  her  swelling  was  discussed,  shee 
soon  recovered  again  her  strength. 

The  children  lived  but  a  small  time,  they  all  died  that  day. 

It  is  not  good  to  draw  away  the  after-burdens,  before  all  the 
children  bee  born,  for  feare  of  a  flux  of  blood,  that  might  follow  in  the 
ensuing  birth.  Yet  I  have  known  severall  women  to  have  escaped  this 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Not  long  after,  I  was  called  into  "White  Friars,  to  a  poor  woman, 
that  was  in  travaile,  to  assist  Mrs  Wharton,  a  good  midwife.  Shee  was 
understanding  in  her  calling,  and  was  of  a  friendly,  and  courteous 

This  woman  had  been  long  in  labour.  The  child's  head,  and 
body  were  larg,  and  the  child's  head  was  somewhat  entered  into  the 

Finding  that  the  child  was  dead,  I  drew  it  with  the  crochet,  and 
the  woman  soon  recovered, 

A  great  person  in  Ireland,  having  the  bones  of  the  genital  parts 
ovally,  by  infirmity,  pressed  together,  after  the  losse  of  severaU  children, 
drawn  from  her  body  by  the  chirurgions,  was  put  in  hopes  to  have 
better  success,  if  that  shee  could  obtain  a  London  midwife  to  come  unto 

There  was  a  midwife  procured,  that  went  unto  her.  This  mid- 
wife had  long  practiced  midwifery,  and,  to  my  knowledg,  had  a  good 
understanding  in  her  calling,  and  her  practice  had  been  oft  crowned  with 
happy  success.  This  Lady  procured  this  midwife  to  come  unto  her, 
into  Ireland. 

After  that  shee  had  been  some  time  with  her,  labour  came  upon 
the  Lady.  ISTo  conveniences  to  facilitate  the  birth  were  omitted,  and 
the  midwife  used  all  her  endeavours  to  bring  forth  a  living  child,  with- 
out any  violence  offered  unto  it,  or  to  the  mother. 

But  it  pleased  God,  not  to  permit  this  Lady  to  have  her  desires, 
nor  to  give  his  blessing  to  this  midwife's  hands,  as  to  let  this  Lady  bee 
delivered  by  her. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


A  chirurgion  was  sent  for,  who,  as  formerly,  with  the  crochet 
drew  away  a  living  child  from  this  Lathe's  body,  to  save  her  life. 

Had  I  been  in  his  place,  I  would  have  seen  what,  first,  might 
have  been  done  with  the  hand,  before  I  would  have  used  the  instrument. 

At  this  midwife's  return,  I  went  to  visit  her  at  her  house,  and 
there  shee  related  all  these  passages  to  mee.  And,  as  I  was  sorrowfull 
for  this  Ladie's  ill  hap  :  so  I  was  joyfull  to  see  this  midwife  safely 
returned  again  to  London. 

I  was  sent  for  to  a  Gentlewoman,  that  had  formerly  suffered  hard 
labour.  Shee  was  delivered  of  a  small  abortive,  before  I  came  unto 
her,  by  the  midwife ;  and  the  child,  being  very  small,  the  midwife  had 
drawn  it  away  by  the  arme. 

As  I  was  sitting,  and  talking  with  one  of  her  servants,  that 
attended  her  eldest  child,  then  a  little  one,  as  it  played  before  us,  I 
espied  in  the  child's  forhead  a  long  dawk,  deeply  dented,  even  to  her 
nose.  I  asked  the  servant  maid  how  the  child  came  by  it.  Shee  replied, 
that  it  was  so  borne;  whereupon  I  conjectured  that,  through  this 
woman's  hard,  long  labour,  as  also  by  the  dawk  in  the  child's  forehead, 
that  the  ill  conformation  of  the  bones  was,  or  might  bee  the  cause  of 
her  sufferings,  before  shee,  usually,  was  delivered. 

There  goeth  a  report  of  two  ingenious  persons,  the  man  and  his 
wife ;  Hee,  taking  notice  of  the  midwife's  violent  halings,  and  stretch- 
ings of  his  wife's  body,  as  also  of  the  great  torments,  that,  thereupon, 
did  arise ;  and  his  wife,  being  terrified  with  the  feeling  of  them,  and 
fearing  to  suffer  the  like  again;  and  also,  hearing,  how  some,  that  would 
not  owne  their  great  bellies,  how  easily,  and  speedilj  they  were  delivered, 
without  the  help  of  midwives ;  They  concluded,  to  make  trial!  of  their 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


way,  and  having  found  it  good,  and  prosperous,  they  resolved  never  more 
to  make  use  of  the  midwife's  assistance. 

And,  ever  since,  the  woman,  so  soon  as  shee  perceiveth  her  labour 
approaching,  shee  causeth  a  fire  to  bee  made  in  her  chamber,  and,  her 
bed  being  prepared,  her  husband  bringeth  her  into  the  chamber,  and, 
after  the  taking  of  their  leaves  one  of  the  other,  hee,  with  her  desire, 
and  consent,  locketh  her  in  the  roome,  and  commeth  no  more  unto  her, 
untill  shee  knocketh,  which  is  the  signe  of  her  delivery  to  him,  and  to 
such  women,  as  bee  in  the  house,  and  this  report  is  affirmed  for  a  truth. 

Such  a  story  hath  been  told  mee  of  Mr.  Jennings  (so  I  take  the 
great  Apothecary  in  Newark  to  bee  called)  and  his  wife. 

And  I  am  perswaded,  in  my  thoughts,  that,  if  all  women  would 
follow  the  same  course,  that  they  would  bee  more  easily  delivered,  and 
more  children  born  alive. 

All,  that  ever  I  would  have  the  midwife  to  do,  is  but  to  receive 
the  child,  when  it  commeth  into  the  world,  or  to  alter  an  unnaturall 

A  weaver's  wife  at  Wossall,  in  Staffordshire,  about  the  yeare  1654, 
came  unto  mee,  complaining  of  much  pain  in  her  back,  and  heat  about 
the  outward  parts  of  her  body. 

Shee  said,  That  this  happened  after  a  hard  labour,  and  that  many 
skins,  and  lumps  of  flesh  came  from  her  body,  after  her  delivery. 

The  outward  passages  of  her  body  were,  all  along,  closed  up; 
there  was  onely  a  little  small  orifice  left  open,  by  which  her  urine  passed. 

Shee  said  that  her  womb  did  rot,  and  fall  forth  out  of  her  body. 

gg  ~  ~ 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

I  gave  her  a  decoction  of  persly,  Germander,  and  pennyroyall, 
with  such  like  herbs,  and  shee  had  a  flowing  of  the  menses,  upon  the 
taking  of  it. 

Whereupon,  I  beleeve  that  the  womb  was  not  rotted  forth,  but 
that  the  labia  vulvae  were  joined  together,  after  the  cicatrizing  of  the 
ulcer.  Shee  was  troubled-  with  much  inflammation,  and  had  a  whitish, 
sordid  matter,  which  continually  issued  from  her ;  and  it  did  much  in- 
flame, and  moisten  those  parts ;  and  the  humour  had  a  raw,  faintish 
savour.  Shee  was  eased  with  refrigerating  applications,  as  ung.  alb. 
camphoratum,  and  what  became  of  her,  after  that  I  went  to  London 
1656,  I  know  not. 

Guillimeau  giveth  this  report,  That  hee  was  sent  for  by  Mad. 
Searon,  to  help  a  farmer's  wife,  that  was  great  with  child,  and  ready  to 
lie  down,  who  had  the  outward  orifice  of  her  womb,  for  the  space  of 
foure  or  five  yeares,  so  perfectly  closed,  glued,  and  joined  together,  that 
it  was  impossible  to  put  a  little  probe  therein ;  the  which  had  happened 
to  her  by  being  ill  delivered ;  by  meanes  whereof,  the  entrance  of  the 
outward  neck  of  the  womb  had  been  ulcerated,  and  the  ulcers  cicatrized, 
and  the  sides  of  the  vagina  joined  together,  and  yet,  for  all  this,  shee 
proved  with  child. 

At  the  time  of  her  delivery,  by  the  advice  and  counsell  of  Mr. 
Riolan  and  Charles,  the  Kings  Professors  in  Physiclc,  and  Regent  Doctor 
in  the  faculty  of  Physiclc  at  Paris,  Brunei,  Paradis  Riolan,  Fremin, 
Rabigois,  and  Serre  (Queen  Marguerite's  chirurgion)  Mitton,  and  Chaf- 
priet,  Mr  Barber  chirurgions  at  Paris,  Honore  the  King's  chirurgion, 
and  my  self,  I  say,  by  the  advice  of  all  these  several!  physicians,  and 
chirurgions,  there  was  an  incision  made.     Then,  presently,  the  speculum 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


dilatorium  was  so  well  applied,  that  all  tlie  cicatrices  were  enlarged, 
which  succeeded  so  prosperously,  that,  within  three  houres  after,  shee 
was  delivered  with  much  ease. 

Dr.  Harvey  knew  a  woman,  who  had  all  the  interiour  part  of  the 
neck  of  her  womb  excoriated,  and  torne  by  a  difficult,  and  painfull  de- 
livery, so  that,  her  time  of  lying  in  being  over,  though  shee  proved  with 
child  again  afterwards ;  yet,  not  onely  the  sides  of  the  orifice  of  the 
neck  of  the  womb,  near  the  nymphse,  did  close  together,  but  also  all  the 
whole  cavity  thereof,  even  to  the  inner  orifice  of  the  matrix,  whereby 
there  was  no  entrance,  even  for  a  small  probe,  nor  yet  any  egresse  to 
her  usuall  fluxes. 

Hereupon,  the  time  of  her  delivery  being  now  arrived,  the  poore 
soule  was  lamentably  tortured,  and,  laying  aside  all  expectation  of  being 
delivered,  shee  resigned  up  her  keyes  to  her  husband,  and,  setting  her 
affaires  in  order,  shee  took  leave  of  all  her  friends. 

When,  behold !  beyond  expectation,  by  the  strong  contest  of  a 
very  lusty  infant,  the  whole  tract  was  forced  open,  and  shee  was  miracu- 
lously delivered ;  the  lusty  child  proving  the  auctor  of  his  own,  and  his 
parent's  life,  leaving  the  passage  open  for  the  rest  of  his  brethren,  who 
should  bee  born  in  time  to  come.  For,  proper  applications  being  admin- 
istered, his  mother  was  restored  to  her  former  health.  Should  ever  such 
an  accident  come  to  my  hands  again,  as  happened  to  the  woman  at 
Wossall,  I  should  not  feare  to  open  those  places ;  for  that  Guilhmeau, 
and  Dr.  Harvey  have  declared  such  things  to  bee  done. 

In  the  mean  time,  I  shall  admire  the  forcible  vigour,  and  efficacy 
of  a  mature,  and  lively  fcetus. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

It  hath  been  questioned,  whether  the  womb,  closed  in  a  woman 
with  child,  can,  by  outward  enforcements,  bee  opened.  Upon  the  com- 
munication, and  assured  faith  of  a  reall,  true  friend,  I  am  confident,  that 
such  a  thing  was  done,  and  that  it  might  bee  done  againe. 

Comming  from  Gloucester,  in  my  returning  homeward  to  Darby, 
I  met  with  a  good  friend,  a  Dr.  of  Physick,  and  a  practicer  in  midwifery. 

Hee  certified  mee,  that  hee  was  intreated,  by  a  Gentlewoman,  to 
afford  her  his  help,  and  assistance ;  for  that  shee  knew,  that  there  was  a 
false  conception  in  her  womb,  which  would  bee  her  ruine,  unles,  by  his 
skill,  hee  could  open  the  womb,  and  take  it  forth. 

Hee  was  overperswaded  by  her,  giving  credence  unto  her  words,  and 
being  intreated  to  try  his  skil,  and  to  use  the  utmost  of  his  endeavours, 
to  performe  this  work ;  hee  slid  up  his  hands,  and  forced  the  orifice  of 
the  womb  with  his  finger  end,  moving,  and  thrusting  it  gently,  for  a 
reasonable  space,  against  the  orifice  of  the  womb. 

After  some  time,  by  these  wayes,  and  her  enforcements,  the  womb 
was  opened,  and,  forthwith,  the  waters  flowed ;  and,  within  a  short  space 
after,  the  birth  of  a  child  followed. 

At  the  sight  thereof  hee  was  much  troubled  (hee  told  it  to  mee 
with  a  great  deale  of  sorrow)  and  said  unto  her,  thai^  hee  was  displeased 
with  her  evil  doings. 

But  shee  made  slight  of  bis  rebukes,  and  words. 

Although  shee  then  recovered  her  strength,  yet,  in  some  yeares 
after,  (following  her  ill  courses  of  life,  and  putting  herself  under  the 
practice  of  other  physicians,  to  cover  her  lewdnesses,  they  not  knowing 
of  each  others  doings) 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

245  took  violent  purges  from  the  first  physician,  and,  within  an 
houre  after,  from  another  physician  very  great  cordials,  hoping  to  cover 
her  lewd  misdeeds. 

By  physick,  at  last,  shee  perished.  This  communication,  severall 
yeares  after,  was  communicated  again  to  mee  by  this  Dr.  of  physick,  my 
worthy,  and  good  friend,  but  hee  desired  mee  to  conceale  her  name ;  for 
that  her  friends,  with  her  relations,  and  parentage,  were  of  great  repute, 
and  esteem  in  the  country. 

A  few  yeares  since  this,  my  good  friend  is  dead,  and,  I  hope,  that, 
without  offence,  I  may  say  what  I  did  know  of  him. 

That  hee  was  a  learned  Gentleman,  and  a  good,  and  judicious 
practicer  in  Physick,  and  had  great  knowledg  in  the  midwife's  bed,  and 
in  the  delivery  of  women. 

Hee  was-  piously  given,  full  of  charity,  a  true  lover  of  honesty, 
and  of  all  good  men ;  friendly,  and  courteous,  and  kind  to  every  one ; 
faithfull  to  his  friend,  and  injurious  to  no  man,  a  forgiver,  and  not  a 
revenger  of  injuries. 

He  lived  peaceably  and  quietly  with  his  neighbours,  and  was 
greatly  beloved,  living,  and  was  much  lamented,  and  mourned  for  at  his 
end,  was  followed  to  his  grave  with  much  company,  great  and  small,  all 
shedding  tears,  and  making  sore  lamentation,  for  the  losse  of  so  worthy 
a  person. 

I  was  assured  by  a  learned  Dr.  (that  was  eminent  for  severall  good 
parts,  more  especially  for  his  knowledge  in  the  midwife's  bed)  that  hee, 
with  others,  was  called  to  deliver  a  woman,  that  had  the  neck  of  the 
womb  scirrhous. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

All  of  them  strived  to  open,  and  to  dilate  the  os  uteri,  with  the 
instrument,  called  speculum  matricis,  and,  through  their  enforcements, 
that  the  instrument  was  broken  in  her  body. 

Whereupon,  it  was  conceived  by  them,  That  it  would  bee  the  best 
way  to  cut  the  neck  of  the  womb  with  an  incision-knife.  The  which 
this  D1'.  affirmed  was  done  on  both  sides  of  the  womb,  and  that  it  proved 
gristly  in  cutting,  and  that  the  passage  being  thus  opened,  and  enlarged, 
the  woman  was,  then,  happily  delivered  of  a  living  child,  and,  that  shee 
well  recovered  these  wounds,  and  the  enforcements  of  the  instrument, 
and  was,  afterwards,  the  mother  of  severall  children. 

This  report,  with  the  passages,  seemeth  very  Strang  to  mee,  and 
greatly  to  bee  admired. 

This  Dr.  was  very  kind  and  loving  to  mee,  and  took  delight  in 
my  company.  I  dare  not  think  that  untruths  would  passe  from  his 

Yet  let  no  man  bee  offended  for  my  saying  to  strangers 
Admiranda  cano,  sed  &c. 

The  story  of  subtle  cheating  knaves. 

Severall  men  came  in  the  night  to  mee,  after  that  I  was  gone  to 
bed.  They  told  mee,  that  a  Gentlewoman,  of  good  worth,  hearing  a 
good  report  of  mee,  and  how  I  had  saved  the  lives  of  severall  women, 
and  of  their  children,  did  purposely  follow  mee,  and  was  now  come  to 
London,  for  the  intent,  to  procure  mee  to  deliver  her;  and  that  shee 
was  suddenly  suprized  with  pangs  of  labour,  immediately  after  her 
journey.     That  shee  had  sent  them,  of  purpose,  to  desire  mee  to  come 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


forthwith  unto  her,  and  that  shee  would  give  mee  any  contentment  for 
my  comming. 

Beleeving  their  smooth  words,  I  did  arise,  and  go  with  them  into 
Shoe-lane.  They  brought  mee  through  an  obscure  Ally,  and  so  into  an 
upper  chamber ;  where  I  saw  a  man,  meanly  clothed,  lying  on  a  bed, 
laid  on  the  floore,  and  wrapped  in  a  poor  blanket. 

My  heart  misgave  mee,  and  I  greatly  feared  that  I  was  trepan' d 
by  those,  that  brought  mee  to  that  place,  and  that  I  should  bee  abused 
by  them. 

I  asked  where  the  Gentlewoman  was,  that  desired  my  help.  I 
was  then  brought  into  a  poor  little  roome,  where  I  saw  the  woman. 
Her  mother  in  law  was  a  midwife,  and  had  used  her  very  harshly; 
through  her  unhandsome  doings,  her  body  was  much  bruised,  and,  by 
hex  putting  the  infant  by  the  arme,  shee  had  destroyed  the  infant's  life. 

I  asked  the  woman,  what  was  that  person,  that  was  laid  on  the 
bed  in  the  other  roome.  They  said,  that  hee  was  her  husband.  I  de- 
sired the  women  that  hee  might  bee  sent  away,  and  that  I  might  bring 
the  woman  to  that  place,  where  that  I  might  have  roome  to  turn  my 
hand,  assuring  them,  That  I  could  not  performe  the  work  in  that 
narrow,  strait  place. 

I  brought  her  thither,  and,  as  shee  kneeled  on  the  bed,  by  the 
child's  feet,  after  that  I  had  turned  the  birth,  I  quickly  laid  her  of  her 
dead  child. 

Her  mother  in  law  came  afterwards  unto  mee,  and  said,  That  they 
were  poore,  and  gave  mee  half  a  crown,  the  which  I  gave  to  the  woman, 
that  I  had  delivered,  before  her. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Her  mother  in  law  was  of  an  ill  condition,  and  valued  not  the 
life  of  her  son's  wife,  as  her  deeds  manifested. 

The  women  told  mee,  That  shee  was  troubled  with  a  loosenes. 
I  willed  them  to  make  her  a  rice-caudle,  and  to  give  it  to  her.  I  went 
the  next  morning  to  see  how  shee  did.  I  asked  her,  whether  shee  had 
taken  the  things,  that  I  appointed  for  her. 

Shee  said,  That  shee  had  no  money,  and  that  her  mother  in  law 
had  taken  away  from  her  the  half  crown,  so  soon  as  I  was  gone  away. 
I  caused  the  money  to  bee  given  again  unto  her. 

But  this  loosenes,  with  the  unkindnes  of  her  mother  in  law,  and 
the  want  of  attendance,  with  provisions  necessary,  hastened  her  untimely 

Though  I  was  deluded  by  this  flattering,  cheating  company,  yet 
I  heartily  thanked  God,  that  I  had  escaped  my  present  doubts,  and 
feares,  and  rejoyced,  That  I  was  not  trepan' d,  and  brought  into  the 
danger  to  bee  compelled  to  pay  for  my  release,  by  ransoming  my  self 
with  a  sum  of  money,  as  others  had  formerly  done  in  London. 

To  proceed  to  come  to  other  unhandsome  passages.  Let  mee 
acquaint  you,  That,  now,  Apothecaries,  leaving  the  beating  of  their 
mortars,  turn  Doctors,  as  also  taking  upon  them  to  bee  men-midwives, 
and,  as  yet,  escaping  their  due  reward,  in  not  pacing  the  hangman's 
black  stumbling  horse,  or  the  receiving  of  the  hot  iron  in  their  hands, 
for  their  reward,  and  just  deserts. 

There  was  a  broken,  runnagate  Apothecary,  that  turned  mounte- 
bank. Hee  set  forth  his  bills,  promising  great  cures,  and  took  upon 
him  to  bee  expert  in  the  delivery  of  women. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Hee  came  into  Lincolnshire,  where  hee  was  desired  to  visit  a 
woman,  labouring  to  bee  delivered,  and  to  use  his  best  endeavours  to 
lay  her. 

The  birth  came  by  the  arme,  the  which  hee  presently  cut  off,  with- 
out any  remorse  of  conscience,  and  so,  forthwith,  hee  left  the  woman,  in 
her  afflictions,  to  be  delivered  by  the  women. 

And,  although  the  women  did  earnestly  intreat  him  to  stay,  and 
to  finish  his  work,  yet  hee  would  not  bee  moved  to  it. 

And  was  there  not  just  cause  for  his  departure?  for  that  this 
woman  was  the  first  woman  (and  last)  that  ever  hee  came  unto,  to  de- 
liver ;  and  his  conscience  and  credit  assured  him, 

That  hee  had  done  already,  more,  then  hee  could  justifie,  and  that 
hee  knew  not  how  to  proceed  to  finish  the  work. 

At  his  going  away,  hee  told  the  women,  that  now  it  was  their 
work  to  performe  the  rest  of  the  delivery.  And  so,  like  himself  fa 
mountebank)  hee  left  the  labouring  woman  in  great  distresse. 

It  pleased  God  to  permit  another  woman  to  deliver  her  of  the 
rest  of  the  child's  body. 

Hee  was  an  ignorant,  impudent,  shameles  evank  mountebank, 
and  had  five  pounds  for  cutting  off  the  child's  arme,  and  so  murthering 
the  child. 

It  is  now  too  frequently  used,  by  midwives,  to  cut  off  armes,  as 
this  Apothecary  did,  or  to  pull  the  infant  by  the  arme,  in  hopes,  to  draw 
forth  the  child's  body. 




Observations  in  Midiviferg,  by 

In  Staffordshire,  at  King's  Bromely,  over  night,  a  woman  was 

delivered  of  a  dead  child,  and  the  after-burden  being  fetched,  shee  was 

put  into  her  bed,  and  the  midwife  supposed  that  all  her  work  was 

But,  the  next  morning,  the  hand  and  arme  of  another  child 
appeared.  By  two  midwives  this  child  was  endeavoured  to  bee  pulled 
away  by  the  arme. 

But,  when  their  strength  failed,  the  older  midwife  did  cut  off  the 
child's  arme,  and  then,  afterwards,  shee  was  delivered,  and  the  woman 
again  recovered  her  strength. 

This  fact  was  done  about  the  twentieth  day  of  August  1670. 

In  Staffordshire,  at  Hampton  Bidway,  towards  the  later  end  of 
August  1670, 

A  woman,  in  that  place  dwelling,  had  a  child  comming  into  the 
world  with  the  arme  first. 

Shee  had  two  midwives  to  help  her.  After  fruitles  endeavours  to 
reduce  the  arme,  they  concluded  to  pul  it  away  by  the  arme;  and, 
through  their  strengths,  they  pulled  off  the  infant's  arme  with  the 
shoulder,  and  left  the  rest  of  the  child's  body  remaining  behind,  and  the 
woman  not  delivered. 

A  third  midwife  was  sent  for.  By  her  the  rest  of  the  body  was 
brought  forth  (some  say,  by  instruments,  the  which  I  do  not  beleeve) 
and  this  woman  recovered. 

The  same  fact  was  done  at  Newbrough,  long  since,  upon  the  body 
of  Goodwife  Right. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


There  was  a  scandalous  report  in  London,  with  which  an  old  mid- 
wife was  spotted ;  That,  through  a  mistake,  in  stead  of  the  after  birth, 
sliee  pulled  away  the  womb,  of  which  the  woman  died. 

But  I  will  not  bee  so  injurious  to  old  midwives,  as  to  give 
credence  to  such  unworthy  reports. 

Although  I  know  assuredly,  That  some  of  them  do  not  (as  they 
should)  understand  their  practice,  and  dayly  undertakings. 

F.  E.  striving  to  lift  a  heavy  coale,  and  to  carry  it  farther,  then 
her  strength  would  well  permit,  perceived  something  to  crack  in  her 
back.  That  night  shee  suffered  lapsus  uteri.  Shee  oft  put  it  up,  but  it 
would  presently  fall  down  againe. 

Being  troubled,  and  discontented,  and  wearied  with  this  affliction, 
in  hopes  to  cure  her  serf,  shee  went  into  the  garden,  and,  laying  hold  on 
it,  drew  it,  and  cut  it  forth,  with  part  of  the  vagina  uteri. 

A  great  flux  of  blood  followed,  with  fainting.  Shee  swooned, 
and  was  taken  up,  more  likely,  presently  to  die,  then  to  recover. 

The  womb  was  great,  and  deep,  and  shee  had  cut  off  some  of  the 
fleshy  part  of  the  neck  of  the  bladder,  with  all  the  womb,  and  could 
not,  then  hold  her  water. 

Seeking  help  to  stay  her  water,  and  finding  none,  at  last  shee 
came  to  mee.  I  could  passe  my  finger  through  the  wound  into  the 

I  followed  the  way,  that  others  had  taken,  to  stich  it  up.  But 
first  I  endeavoured  to  cleanse  her  body  with  purges,  and  turpentine  pils. 
For  in  those  parts,  shee  had  a  faint,  raw,  and  unsavoury  smell.     After- 

hh  2  '  " 






and  af- 
cut  forth. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


wards  I  scarified  the  place,  where  the  wound  was  made ;  and,  with 
double  twisted  silk,  I  stitched  it  up. 

Whilest  that  the  stitches  did  hold,  her  water  came  by  the  right 
passage.  But,  when  they  separated,  her  urine  issued  again  by  the  old 
breach.  It  grew  narrower,  and  lay  deep.  It  could  not,  at  last,  bee 
perceived  where  the  orifice  was,  through  which  the  water  dribled. 

Shee  lived  severall  yeares  with  this  affliction,  and  died  uncured,  her 
water  alwayes  comming  night  and  day,  insensibly  dribling  from  her. 

In  S.  Thomas  Hospitall  Anno  1659,  there  was  a  creature  J.  E. 
that  was  neither  maid,  wife,  or  widow.  She  had  undergone  much 
strugling,  halings,  and  enforcements  by  her  midwife,  in  the  time  of  her 
labour  to  bee  delivered.     Shee  could  badly  go,  and  went  stradling. 

That  worthy  good  man,  Dr  Wharton,  pitying  her  troublesome 
condition,  related  her  misery  to  mee. 

Shee  was  taken  into  a  private  roome  by  the  Dr,  and  Mrs.  of  the 
ward.     Id  this  woman  I  saw  a  great  lapsus  uteri,  as  big  as  two  fists. 

I  put  it  up  before  them,  and,  having  about  mee  an  uterine  pes- 
sary, that  was  round,  and  thin,  and  a  little  hollo  wish,  being  very  light  (it 
was  made  of  ouler  wood)  I  conveyed  the  same  presently  into  vagina 
uteri.  Shee  found  much  comfort  by  it.  It  kept  up  the  womb,  and 
then  shee  was  able  to  walk,  without  pain,  in  a  comely  gesture.  Shee 
set  herself  to  sweep  roomes,  and  make  beds,  and  was  able  to  do  any 
ordinary  work  without  trouble.  I  willed  her  not  to  offer  to  carry,  or 
lift  any  heavy  weight,  nor  to  use  any  violent  exercise,  or  motion. 

Whilest  that  shee  observed  these  rules,  and  kept  the  pessary  in 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


her  body,  shee  was  happy,  and  well,  and  freed  of  all  disquiets.     Shee 
was  living  in  May  Anno  1668. 

De  Mola. 

Old  Dixe  of  Dawberry  lees  in  Darbyshire  married  a  young 
woman.  Not  long  after,  her  belly  grew  great,  yet  shee  proved  not  with 

The  common,  vulgar  people  said,  and  usually  reported,  That  his 
nature  had  poisoned  her  body. 

Shee  oft  had  great  fluxes  of  blood,  and,  in  those  fluxes,  avoided 
great  clots  of  blood,  and  so  shee  was,  for  the  present,  eased  of  her 

But  her  belly  did  not  fall,  or  grow  lesser.  Shee  thus  continued 
for  severall  yeares  after  her  Husband's  death. 

Shee  was,  afterwards,  married  to  one  John  Vaughan  of  Morley, 
nigh  Darby.  And  I  conceive  that  this  woman  had  a  mole  in  utero,  for 
that  her  breasts  did  not  swell,  and  had  no  milk  in  them. 

,  Shee  became  leane  in  all  her  body,  especially  in  her  legs.  But  her 
belly  was  much  sworn,  as  though  shee  had  a  dropsy.  Her  navel  never 
stood  forth.  Twice,  or  thrice  a  yeare  shee  lost  much  blood,  with  sever- 
all  clots  of  coagulated  blood.  At  which  times  shee  had  some  slight 
paines,  as  though  shee  was  in  labour.  But,  when  this  issue  stopped, 
her  paines  abated,  and  shee  was  eased  by  this  evacuation  of  blood. 

And,  for  these  causes,  I  confidently  beleeved,  That  shee  had  a 
mole  in  her  womb,  too  great  to  bee  expelled,  whereof,  at  last,  shee  died. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

In  France,  and  the  Low  Countries,  they  have  many  privileges, 
and  customes  which  we  cannot  obtain  in  England.  They  open  dead 
bodies,  without  any  mutterings  of  their  friends.  Should  one  of  us  desire 
such  a  thing,  an  odium  of  inhumane  cruelty  would  bee  upon  us  by  the 
vulgar,  and  common  people. 

Had  this  woman,  after  her  death,  been  opened,  I  beleeve,  that, 
in  the  womb,  a  mole  of  a  great  bignes  would  have  been  found.  See 
Pareus  the  33  and  34  ch.  concerning  the  Generation  of  man.     fol.  625. 

A  dead  child  in  a  naturall  Birth. 


Dr  Harvey  saith,  That  the  water  is  the  cause  of  the  delivery  of 
the  fetus,  which  is  dead,  and  putrefied  in  the  womb.  In  that,  by  it's 
corruption,  and  acrimony,  it  doth  extimulate  the  uterus  to  releeve  it  self. 

I  was  desired  by  a  Gentlewoman,  to  come,  and  stay  with  her,  for 
that,  of  ten  dayes,  shee  had  not  perceived  the  child  to  move,  or  stirre 
in  her  womb ;  and,  when  shee  lay  on  either  side,  shee  found,  that  the 
child  did  fall  unto  that  side,  on  which  shee  did  lie. 

I  gave  her  cordials.  Upon  the  taking  of  them  3  times  a  day, 
shee  felt  a  heaving  in  her  womb,  but  no  motion  of  a  child.  At  the  end 
of  these  ten  dayes,  in  the  night,  shee  fell  into  labour  December  the  sixth 
1671,  before  foure  a  clock  in  the  morning,  I  was  called  to  her.  The 
birth  came  naturally,  and  the  child's  head  was  easily  born.  The  child 
stuck  at  the  shoulders ;  but,  by  my  finger  put  under  the  armepit,  with 
easy  drawing,  it  was  soone  brought  forth ;  as  also  the  after-birth  came 
quickly.  Thus,  quickly  shee  was  freed  of  a  dead  child  about  foure  in 
in  the  morning  1671. 

After  shee  was  put  into  bed,  for  that  shee  was  subject  to  lose 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


much  blood,  I  gave  her  a  drachm  of  the  powder  of  white  amber,  pre- 
pared, and  well  mixed  with  the  yolk  of  an  egge,  and,  by  degrees,  it  was 
made  potable  with  a  caudle,  and  all  her  sorrows  were,  through  God's 
mercy,  and  permission,  happily  ended. 

Lastly,  I  desired  to  have  the  child  brought  to  mee.  I  found  the 
navel  string  to  have  a  muddy  colour,  and  the  child  much  flayed,  and 
corrupted,  and  the  body  of  it  did  greatly  stink,  so  that  I  was  not  able 
to  endure  the  sent  of  it. 

Yet,  I  humbly  thank  God,  shee  is  well  recovered,  and  enjoyeth 
her  health,  and  strength  againe. 

Elizabeth,  the  wife  of  John  Stone,  of  Rudgway,  fell  into  labour 
January  the  25  167£.  The  midwife  forced  the  birth,  and  broke  the 
waters  towards  night,  and  an  arme  came  downe.  Shee  had  two  mid- 
wives,  and  both  pulled,  one  after  the  other,  the  child  by  the  arme, 
untill  they  had  killed  the  child ;  and  the  arme  was  made  black,  and 
greatly  sweFd  by  their  halings,  and  was  nigh  pulled  off  at  the  shoulder. 

In  their  despairing  to  deliver  her,  I  was  sent  for.  The  26  day  I 
came  to  her. 

After  I  had  seen  her,  and  her  midwives  usage,  and  had  felt  her 
pulse,  and  had  viewed  her  face ;  I  went  to  her  husband,  and  told  him, 
That,  with  God's  permission,  I  could  lay  his  wife,  but,  in  all  likelyhood, 
shee  would  not  recover,  but  die  not  long  after  the  delivery  of  this  child ; 
for  that  shee  had  been  ill  used  by  her  midwives,  and  her  body  was  de- 
stroyed by  them.  Yet  hee  desired  to  save  her  life,  and  shee,  mightily, 
to  bee  layed. 

I  placed  her  kneeling  on  a  bolster,  and  putting  down  her  head 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

in  a  bending,  descending  posture,  by  the  child's  feet,  shee  was  quickly 
laid ;  and  the  after-birth  was  soon  fetched  away,  and  shee  was  put  into 
her  bed. 

But  her  feet  were  cold.  Unto  them  were  hot  bricks  applied 
(wrapped  in  cloths)  and  her  face  was  kept  warm  with  hot  linens.  But 
her  chin  continued  cold,  and  would  not  bee  warmed  with  hot  linen 
cloths,  oft  put  under  it.  After  this,  shee  complained  of  a  stitch,  which 
took  her  in  the  left  side,  but  it  was  removed  by  a  tallow  brown  paper, 
with  warme  applications. 

Shee  had  a  decoction  of  cloves,  made  of  equall  parts  of  white 
wine,  and  water ;  of  which  shee  drank,  to  mitigate  her  after-paines.  To 
her  navell  was  laid  a  plaister  of  raw  Galbanum,  and  her  nostrils  were 
anointed  with  oile  of  amber. 

At  last,  shee  could  not  swallow,  and,  about  eight  houres  after  her 
delivery,  between  ten  and  eleven,  shee  departed  that  night. 

2-d  oj 

1.  Felice  Hollinghurst  of  Budgly. 

2.  EUzabeth  Walthur  of  Stafford,  a  Butcher's  wife. 

There  is  an  infirmity  (though  it  seldome  happeneth,  or  is  seen  by 
physicians,  or  chirurgions)  called  Cauda  mulierum,  and  it  causeth  great 
flouding,  of  which  I  will  make  some  mention,  because  I  have  seen  it. 

There  was  a  maid,  a  miller's  daughter  in  Darbyshire.  Shee  oft, 
at  severall  times,  lost  much  blood,  issuing  violently,  before  it  stopt. 

Shee  came  to  mee  Anno  1638  for  help.  Shee  shewed  mee  a  long, 
round  lump  of  flesh,  like  a  dog's  pizzle  in  shape,  and  thicknes,  which 
shee  could  put  forth  of  her  body,  when  shee  stooped  downward. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


It  lay  on  one  side  vagina  uteri,  and  had  a  hollow  sheath  to  cover 
it.  When  shee  stood  upright,  it  went  up  into  her  body,  and  then  it 
was  not  to  bee  felt,  and  from  this  cauda  the  flux  of  blood  issued. 

I  used  severall  wayes  for  her  ease,  without  any  good  successe.  At 
last,  I  resolved  to  take  it  off  with  a  ligature,  for  that  it  had  no  great 
But  this  maid,  grieving  at  her  affliction,  went  alone  into  the 
garden,  took  hold  on  it,  and,  with  a  violent  twitch,  pulled  it  off.  She 
did  greatly  bleed  afterwards.  Being  tat  en  up  from  the  ground,  shee 
was  supposed  to  bee  dead.  Being  carried  into  the  house,  and  laid  on  a 
bed,  shee  came  againe  unto  herself.  And  thus,  casually,  shee  was  cured, 
and  was  not,  afterwards,  any  more  troubled  with  bleeding,  or  any  other 
infirmity  of  the  womb. 

There  came  into  my  house,  at  Darby,  my  honoured  good  friend 
Dr  Harvey  1642. 

Wee  were  talking  of  severall  infirmities,  incident  to  the  womb. 

After  that  I  had  related  the  aforegoing  story  de  cauda  mulieris, 
and  how  shee  flouded,  and  was  cured,  hee  added  to  my  knowledge  an  in- 
firmity, which  hee  had  seen  in  women,  and  hee  gave  it  the  name  of  a 
honey-comb,  which  also,  hee  said,  would  cause  flouding  in  women. 

Some  twenty  yeares  after  I  was  desired  to  come  to  an  ancient, 
good  woman,  aged  about  three  score ;  that,  then,  began  to  floud,  and 
never  afore  that  time.  And  this  issue  of  blood  seized  on  her  once  a 
moneth,  or  oftener ;  and  in  so  violent  a  manner,  that  shee  would  make 
wet,  with  her  blood,  severall  black  cotton  cloths,  in  lesse  space,  then 
three  quarters  of  an  houre. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And  this  flux  would' not  stanch,  untill  that  shee  became  pale,  and 
weak,  ready  to  faint  away. 

I  gave  her  seven  graines  of  the  inner  part  of  an  unripe,  green 
gall,  with  the  same  quantity  of  blue  vitriol,  mixt  with  a  little  ,  conserve 
of  red  roses. 

The  medicine  made  her  once  to  vomit,  but  it  did  not  purg  her, 
and  shee  never  flouded  after  the  taking  of  this  medicine. 

I  found,  by  my  finger,  a  swelling,  nigh  the  upper  part  of  vagina 
uteri,  towards  one  side  of  the  womb,  there  •  sticking,  to  my  thinking, 
like  a  spung,  or  a  honey-comb ;  at  the  end  whereof  were  some  small 
'tumours,  like  to  the  blind  piles,  but  the  tumour  did  not,  at  all,  afflict  her. 

The  losse  of  this  bloud  did  adde  weaknes  to  her  body,  but  the 
severall  disquiets,  which  shee  oft  received  from  a  troublesome  daughter, 
did  much  more  grieve  her,  and  trouble  her  spirits ;  and,  somewhat  more, 
then  half  a  yeare  after,  shee  died ;  not  through  the  losse  of  bloud,  but, 
rather,  of  troubles  in  her  mind,  which  shortened  her  dayes.  .r 

Her  husband  was  my  familiar  friend,  and,  by  his  discourse,  in 
talking  with  mee,  hee  made  it  very  manifest,  That  shee  long  had,  this 
tumour  called  a  Honey-comb  in  vagina  uteri,  growing  towards  the  neck 
of  the  womb. 

Of  the  tunicle,  or  membrane,  called  Hymen. 

Pareus,  in  his  42  ch.  de  generatione  hominis,  saith,  That  in  some 
virgins,  or  maidens,  in  the  orifice  of  the  neck  of  the  womb,  there  is 
found  a  certain  tunicle,  or  membrane,  called,  of  ancient  writers,  Hymen, 
which  prohibiteth  the  copulation  of  a  man,  and  causeth  a  woman  to  bee 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


i  This  tunicle  is  supposed,  by  many,  to  bee,  as  it  were,  the  enclosure 

of  the  virginity,  or  maidenhead,  hee  saith. 

I  once  saw  it  in  a  virgin  of  seventeen  yeares.  It  was  a  very 
thin,  nervous  membrane.  It  grew  a  little  above  the  nymphee,  near  unto 
the  orifice  of  the  neck  of  the  womb.  In  the  midst  thereof  was  a  very 
little  hole,  whereout  her  water  did  flow.  I,  seing  the  thicknes  thereof, 
cut  it  in  sunder  with  my  scissers,  and  told  her  mother  what  shee  should 
do  afterwards ;  and  shee  married  afterwards,  and  bore  children. 

But  this  tunicle  is  very  seldome  seen,  so — saith  Pareus. 

Whilest  that  I  lived  in  Stafford,  out  of  the  More-lands,  a  child, 
about  seven  yeares  of  age,  in  the  yeare  1655,  was  brought  unto  mee, 
having  this  membrane  called  Hymen. 

After  that  I  had  bound  her  in  that  way,  as  they  do  their  patients 
in  cutting  for  the  stone,  into  the  small  orifice  I  put  a  crooked  forceps ; 
with  the  dilatation  of  the  instrument,  the  thin  membrane  was  easily 
torne  open,  and  I  had  no  need  of  scissers,  or  of  an  incision-knife,  to 
divide  the  skin. 

Pareus,  in  his  43  chapter,  saith,  That  John  Wierus  writeth,  That 
there  was  a  maid  at  Comburge,  who,  in  the  midst  of  the  neck  of  the 
womb,  had  a  thick,  and  strong  membrane,  growing  overthwart.  So 
that,  when  the  monethly  termes  should  come,  it  would  not  permit  them, 
which  caused  a  great  tumour,  and  distended  the  belly  with  great  tor- 
ment, as  if  shee  had  been  in  travail  with  child. 

The  midwives  being  called,  and  having  seen,  and  considered  all 
that  had  been  done,  and  did  appear,  did  all,  with  one  voice,  affirme, 


Observations  in  Midivifery^  by 

That  shee  sustained  the  paines  of  childbirth ;  although  the  maid  herself 
denied,  that  shee  ever  dealt  with  man. 

Therefore,  then,  this  foresaid  Auctour  was  called,  who,  when  the 
midwiyes  were  void  of  help,  and  counsell,  might  help  this  wretched 
maid,  having,  already,  had  her  urine  stopped  three  whole  weeks,  and  per- 
plexed with  great  watchings,  losse  of  appetite,  and  loathing.  And  when, 
hee  had  seen  the  grieved  place,  and  marked  the  orifice  of  the  neck,  of 
the  womb ;  hee  saw  it  stopped  with  a  thick  membrane. 

Hee  knew  also,  That  the  sudden  breaking  out  of  the  bloud  into 
the  womb,  and  the  vessels  thereof,  and  the  passage  for  those  matters, 
that  was  stopped,  was  the  cause  of  her  grievous,  and  tormenting  paine. 

And  therefore  hee  called  a  chirurgion  presently,  and  willed  him  to 
divide  the  membrane,  that  was  in  the  midst,  that  did  stop  the  flux  of 
bloud,  which  being  done,  there  came  forth  as  much  black,  congealed,  and 
putrefied  blood,  as  weighed  some  eight  pounds.  In  three  dayes  after 
shee  was  well,  and  void  of  all  diseases,  and  paine. 

I  have  thought  good  to  set  downe  this  example,  because  it  is 
worthy  to  bee  noted,  and  fitting  to  bee  imitated,  if  that  the  like  occa- 
sion should  happen. 

The  report  of  James  Guillimeau  the  French  King's  Chirurgion  in  his 
second  book  ch.  8.  fol.  108. 

In  the  yeare  1607  in  May  Mr.  de  la  Noue,  the  King's  Chirurgion 
in  ordinary,  and  sworne  in  the  Chastelet  of  Paris,  was  called  to  search 
a  young  woman,  the  wife  of  a  Goldsmith,  who  had  been  cited  by  her 
husband  to  appear  before  the  officiall  of  Paris,  alledging,  That  shee  was 
not  capable,  nor  fit,  by  nature,  to  bee  married ;  which  was  an  occasion 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


that  Germane  Hassart  (a  midwife)  and  myself  were  sent  for,  to  search 
her.  Where  wee  found,  That,  in  the  very  entrance  of  the  womb,  there 
was  a  membrane,  so  strong,  hard,  and  thick,  that  a  man's  finger  (and 
much  lesse  the  other  part)  was  not  able  to  break  it  open ; 

Hee  having  oftentimes  made  triall  to  do  it,  whereby  he  had  incur- 
red a  Paraphymosis.  And,  therefore,  it  was  concluded,  that  her  hus- 
band had  a  just  cause  to  cite  her;  but,  yet,  for  all  this,  that  it  was 



Whereupon  her  Husband  thought  good  to  call  Mr.  de  Levyre, 
and  Pietre,  sworn  chirurgions  at  Paris. 

Then,  wee  all  there  concluded,  with  a  generall  consent,  to  make 
an  incision  of  the  said  membrane ;  which  was  done,  and  dressed,  and 
healed,  to  her  husband's  content. 

Onely  hee  was  somewhat  doubtfull  of  that,  winch  the  said  de  la 
Noue  had  observed,  and  told  him,  That  his  wife's  belly  was  big,  and 
that  shee  was  qualmish,  and  distasted,  vomiting  every  morning,  which 
made  him  suspect,  That  shee  was  with  child.  Whereupon,  a  midwife 
told  him,  That  there  was  no  likelyhood,  nea,  it  was  impossible  to  think, 
That  a  young  woman,  of  eighteen  yeares  of  age,  should  bee  with  child, 
her  husband  having  never  entered  within  her  maiden  cloister,  and  that, 
with  threshing  onely  at  the  barn  doore,  shee  should  bee  full. 

Whereupon  Mr.  Pietre  was  sent  for,  who  thought,  at  first,  hee 
could  not  bee  induced  to  beleeve  it,  yet,  at  length,  having  well  con- 
sidered thereof,  gave  his  judgement,  That  shee  was  with  child,  which 
proved  true ;  For,  about  some  foure  moneths  after  the  incision  was  made, 
shee  was  happily  delivered,  at  her  full  time,  of  a  fair  daughter. 


Observations  in  Midivifery,  by 



Pareus  saith,  That  superfetation  is,  when  a  woman  doth  beare  two, 
or  more  children  at  one  time,  and  they  bee  inclosed,  each  in  his  severall 
secondine.  But  those,  that  are  included  in  the  same  secondine,  are 
supposed  to  bee  coneeived  at  one,  and  the  same  time  of  copulation,  by 
reason  of  the  great,  and  copious  abundance  of  seed.  And  these  have 
no  number  of  dayes  between  their  conception  and  birth,  but  all  at  once. 

Superfetation  is  no  other  thing,  then  a  certain  second  conception, 
when  the  woman,  already  with  child,  again  useth  copulation  with  a  man, 
and  so   conceiveth  again,  according  to  the  judgment  of  Hippocrates. 

This  is  a  most  manifest  argument  of  superfetation,  That  as  many 
children,  as  are  in  the  womb,  (miles  they  bee  twins  of  the  same  sex) 
so  many  secondines  there  are,  as  I  have  often  seen  my  self.  And  it  is 
very  likely,  That,  if  they  were  conceived  in  the  same  moment  of  time, 
that  they  would  all  bee  included  in  one  secondine. 

Dr.  Harvey  of  the  birth  fol.  479  reports,  That  a  certain  maid, 
gotten  with  child  by  her  master,  to  hide  her  knavery,  came  to  London 
in  September,  where  shee  lay  in  by  stealth,  and,  being  recovered  again, 
returned  home.  But,  in  December  following,  a  new  birth  (for  shee  had 
a  superfetation)  did  proclaime  the  crime,  which  shee  had  cunningly  con- 
cealed before. 

Some  women,  that  have  suffered  abortment,  have  conceived  two 
children  at  the  same  time,  and  the  other  hath  continued  the  full  time, 
and  been  brought  forth  perfect. 

A  Gentlewoman  in  Darby,  after  that  shee  had  laien  in  her  moneth, 

and  was !  preparing  to  go  to '  the  church,  with  her  neighbours,  to  give 
God  thanks  for  her  safe  delivery,  was  taken  with  sudden  paines,  like 
throws,  whereupon  shee  returned  againe  into  her  chamber ;  there,  that 
day,  shee  had  an  unexpected  superfe^ation,  and  was  delivered  of  an  other 


Parens  saith,  That  abortion,  or  untimely  birth  is  one  thing,  and 
that  effluxion  is  another. 

They  call  abortion  the  sudden  exclusion  of  the  child,  already 
formed,  and  alive,  before  the  perfect  maturity  thereof. 

But  that  is  called  effluxion,  which  is  the  falling  down  of  seeds 
mixed  together,  and  coagulated  but  for  the  space  of  few  dayes,  in  the 
formes  of  membranes,  or  tunicles,  congealed  blood,  and  of  any  unshapen, 
or  deformed  piece  of  flesh. . 

The  sayings  of  Dr.  Harvy. 

I  have,  sometimes,  known  the  conception  to  perish  in  the  womb, 
and,  being  turned  into  a  putrid  matter,  to  have  glided,  and  issued  forth 
(like  the  flores  albi)  and  this,  both  in  women,  and  other  animals. 

There  was,  not  long  since,  a  woman  in  London,  which,  after  such 
kind  of  abortment,  did  conceive  again,  and  was  'delivered  at  the  just 

But,  a  little  after,  as  shee  went  about  her  work,  being  not  in 
great  pain,  or  distemper,  shee  did  eject,  by  pieces,  the  black  little  bones, 
which  related  to  her  former  abortment. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Some  of  these  bones  were  brought  to  mee,  which  I  could  discover 
to  bee  the  fragments  of  the  spine,  the  bones  of  the  thigh,  and  of  other 

See  the  Countesse  of  Chest. 

Susan  Love,  the  wife  of  Richard  Love,  a  gardiner,  and  souldier 
in  Darby  Anno  1643.  This  woman  had  a  child,  that  rotted  from  her 
womb,  in  great  lumps,  the  bones  and  flesh  came  sticking  together. 

There  was  a  great  piece  of  the  flesh  brought  to  mee,  containing 
part  of  the  forehead,  and  cheek,  with  all  the  flesh  about  the  eye,  and 
the  eye  not  broken,  sticking  in  it  in  one  lump. 

With  giving  her  medicines  to  keep  open,  and  to  cleanse  the  womb, 
shee,  through  God's  great  mercy,  and  permission,  recovered,  but  hath 
had  no  child  since  that  time.     Shee,  yet,  is  living  1671. 

I  came  casually  into  a  friend's  house,  I  found  the  good  woman  in 
labour,  and  the  midwife  too  busy,  in  striving  to  deliver  this  woman  of 
an  abortion. 

I  desired  the  midwife  to  put  her  into  her  bed.  There,  after  some 
warme  keeping,  shee  did,  without  the  midwife's  haling,  miscarry. 

There  came  from  her  a  thin  membrane,  filled  with  clear  water, 
and  one  might  clearly  see,  through  this  membrane  and  water,  two  small, 
white  substances,  not  altogether  as  big  as  barley  cornes,  swimming  in 
the  water,  each  of  them  having  a  navel-string,  and  they  both  were  en- 
closed in  one  membrane ;  and  these  two  small  substances,  though  easily 
touched,  separated  into  several!  parts,  having  no  thicker  consistence, 
then  coagulated  creme. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


I  beleeve  that  this  thin  membrane  was  Amnion,  comming  away 
entire,  not  breaking  the  coat,  and  containing  in  it  the  colliquamentum,  or 
purer  humour,  mentioned  by  Dr.  Harvy,  for  that  a  secondine,  with 
some  little  skin,  representing  a  peare,  came  afterwards,  which  I  took  for 
chorion ;  and  it  was  hollow  in  the  midst. 

February  22  Anno  1652;  There  was  a  worthy,  good  woman,  that 
miscarried.  From  her  body  was  brought  unto  mee  a  perspicuous,  thin 
membrane,  full  of  very  cleare  water,  in  which  was  a  small,  little,  white 
lump,  hanging  by  a  navell-string,  and  swimming  in  the  water. 

After  this  followed  a  thin,  lumpie  piece  of  flesh,  perforated,  and 
hollow  in  the  midst,  like  a  purse. 

And,  unles  the  first  was  amnion,  with  the  waters  contained  in  it, 
and  the  other  chorion,  I  cannot  imagine  what  these  two  severall  mem- 
branes should  bee. 

I  was  sent  for  to  visit  a  gentleman's  wife,  about  the  yeare  1664, 
that  had  an  abortion.  The  midwife  shewed  mee  a  lump  of  gristly  flesh, 
representing  a  cock's  gizard,  with  the  side  perforated,  with  a  long  slit, 
by  which  I  knew  that  shee  had  miscarried ;  and  this  was  the  secondine, 
and  I  have  seen  it  in  severall  women,  that  have  had  abortments. 

But  the  Amnion,  comprehending  the  thin,  and  transparent  water, 
comming  whole  away,  I  never  saw  many  more,  but  in  these  two  onely 

I  was  brought  to  a  woman  in  Nottingham  Town,  from  whom  all 
the  fleshy  parts  of  her  child  consumed,  and  rotted  away  in  her  womb, 
and  shee  had  ejected  severall  dry,  bare  bones  of  the  armes,  thighs,  and 
legs,  some  whereof  I  took  from  her  body  before  severall  women. 


At  Twi- 


Observations  in  Midivifery,  by 

The  mouth  of  the  womb  was  scirrhous,  somewhat  open,  and  filled 
full  of  many  bones. 

At  last  her  side  impostumated,  and  out  of  it  was  taken  the  child's 
skull.  I  desired  a  chirurgion  to  look  unto  her.  Shee  was  poore,  and 
I  feare  hee  neglected  her.     Shee  died  Anno  1632. 

Sennertus  de  partu  nullo. 

After  a  full  time,  it  may  so  happen,  That  signes  of  delivery  may 
appear,  and  that  a  woman  may  have  paines,  and  that  the  water  may 
onely  issue,  and  that,  afterwards,  all  paines  may  cease,  and  return  no 

Goodwife  Cole  of  Redemarton  in  Gloucester-shire,  having  a  great 
belly,  supposed  her  self  to  bee  with  child.  Shee  kept  her  midwife  a 
fortnight,  or  longer,  in  the  house  with  her.  At  last,  the  womb  opened, 
and  the  waters  dribled  severall  dayes  together.  By  degrees,  her  belly 
did  fall,  and  became  little,  and  her  expectation  ended  in  nothing.  Shee 
lived  severall  yeares  after,  but  gave  over  bearing  children  1624. 

I  was  with  a  woman  of  Newcastle  under  Line  in  Staffordshire, 
her  belly  was  big,  as  though  shee  had  been  nigh  downe  lying. 

Shee  had  much  paine  on  her,  day  and  night.  Her  womb  opened, 
and  part  of  chorion  descended,  like  a  gut,  two  inches  long,  and  as  thick 
as  two  fingers,  full  of  water. 

Shee  continued  with  her  great  belly,  full  of  misery,  above  a 
moneth  after  this  time.  Then  the  membrane  chapped,  and  the  waters, 
by  degrees  dribled.  Her  belly  fell,  and  the  tumour  went  away,  and  shee 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Dr  Harvey  reporteth,  That  hee  did  know  a  young  woman,  who 
was  daughter  of  a  physician,  who  was  his  neare  acquaintance,  which, 
being  big,  felt  all  the  symptomes  incident  to  women  in  that  condition, 
and  continued  hearty  and  spritely.  After  fourteen  weekes,  shee  per- 
ceived the  motions  of  a  foetus  in  her  womb,  and,  having  finished  her 
time  for  going  with  child,  conceiving  the  houre  of  her  delivery  to  bee 
nigh  at  hand,  shee  had  her  bed  furnished,  her  cradle  ready,  and  all  the 
implements,  pertaining  to  the  purpose,  laid  out  for  use. 

But  all  these  preparations  came  to  nothing,  and  Lucina  was  crosse 
to  her  wishes,  for  her  customary  paines  left  her,  and  her  belly,  as  it  rose 
by  degrees,  so  it  sunk  again.     But  shee  remained  barren  ever  after. 

This  same  accident  happened  to  an  acquaintance  of  mine  in 
Warwick-shire.     Shee  never  had  any  child  afterwards. 

Also  Dr  Harvey  did  know  a  noble  matron,  who  had  borne  above 
ten  children,  and  whose  courses  were  never  suppressed,  unles  shee  were 
with  child. 

But,  being,  afterwards,  married  to  another  husband,  besides  other 
usuall  signes,  shee  apprehended  her  self  to  bee  with  child,  by  the  stirring 
of  it  (which  both  shee  her  self,  and  her  sister  also,  who  then  lay  with 
her  in  bed,  did,  many  times,  in  the  night,  perceive)  and  all  the  argu- 
ments, I  could  suggest,  could  not  remove  that  perswasion  from  her ; 
till,  at  the  last,  all  her  hopes  vanished  into  flatulency,  and  fatnes. 

Therefore  Dr  Harvey  saith,  So  that,  sometimes,  the  most  approved 
signes  of  ingravidation  have  not  onely  deluded  the  silly  women,  but  the 
experienced  midwives,  and  the  skilfull  physicians  themselves. 

There  are  several!  false  indications  of  gravidation.     Wee  must  not 
__  ..  __     ________ 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

e.  w. 

rashly  determine  of  the  inordinate  birth,  before  the  seventh  moneth,  or 
after  the  eleventh. 

There  was  a  Gentlewoman,  a  very  good  friend  of  mine,  who 
heartily  laughed  at  the  folly  of  an  ill  bred,  dogged,  and  covetous  clown, 
that  had  abused  her,  Anno  1646. 

That  night  following  shee  was  taken  with  various  movings,  or 
motions  in  her  belly,  like  to  the  moving  of  a  lively  child,  and  these 
motions  continued,  and  did  accompany  her  body,  chiefly,  in  the  night, 
for  a  moneth,  or  longer  time,  untill  her  courses  did  break  again  upon 
her,  and  then  they  ceased. 

Nobody  would  have  thought  these  motions  any  other  thing,  then 
the  lively  stirring,  or  moving  of  a  child. 

In  June  1631  There  came  into  my  chamber  at  Darby  the  wife  of 
Thomas  Hood  of  Hallington,  having  a  great  belly. 

Shee  desired  mee  to  take  my  instruments,  and  to  deliver  her. 
Shee  said,  That,  in  March  last  past,  shee  was  in  strong  labour,  and  had 
many  throwes  to  enforce  the  birth.  That  shee  had  two  midwives, 
Goodwife  North,  and  Goodwife  Goodwine,  to  assist  her  in  travaile. 
That  they  both  felt  the  child,  and  hoped  that  every  throwe  would  have 
delivered  her. 

When,  suddenly,  in  the  height  of  her  labour,  her  paines  ceased, 
and  her  body  again  closed  up,  and,  from  that  time,  shee  never  had  any 
pain,  or  more  dribling  of  the  waters  -,  nor,  since,  felt  the  child  to  move. 
And  her  husband  witnessed  the  same,  both  affirming,  That,  afore,  the 
child  was  a  lively,  moving  child. 

I  sent  her  to  her  lodging.     I  gave  her  musk  in  claret  wine  mulled. 

Peixivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


But  the  child  had  no  motion,  and  it  caused  no  alteration  in  her  body. 
Wherefore,  for  the  present,  I  desired  her  to  be  patient,  and  promised 
her,  if  ever  shee  had  any  more  labour,  or  that,  at  any  time,  her  body 
again  opened,  that  I  would  be  ready  to  help  her  the  best  I  could. 

But,  being  impatient,  and  not  brooking  delayes,  shee  put  her  self 
under  the  hands  of  a  beggery,  wandering  woman,  that  promised  to  cure 

The  wanderer  gave  the  powder  of  white  hellebore  unto  this  great 
bellied  woman,  which  much  swelled  her  body,  and  threatened  to  en- 
danger her  life  with  suffocating  fits. 

This  wanderer,  seing  her  patient  very  ill,  and  that  her  physick  did 
not  work,  as  shee  expected,  went  unto  an  Apothecaries  widow,  and 
desired  her  to  give  her  any  purge.  So  shee  let  her  have  two  ounces  of 
syrup  of  roses,  which  set  the  hellebore  on  working. 

The  operation  was  very  violent,  in  forcing  many  vomits,  and 

For  all  this,  the  greatnes  of  her  belly  continued  without  any 

I  saw  this  great  bellied  woman  some  fourteen  moneths  after  this 
time.  Her  belly  grew  greater,  and  shee  was  much  weakened  through 
her  infirmity. 

And,  from  her  groin,  shee  had  very  great,  and  larg  venes,  ascend- 
ing to  her  breasts. 

About  November,  afterwards,  this  great  bellied  woman,  in  this 
her  weaknes,  did  take  a  vomit  from  an  ignorant  man.     It  made  her  sick. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

At  the  first  motion  of  the  working,  shee  became  very  faint.     At  the 
second  vomiting,  shee  died. 

Her  neighbours  desired  my  comming  to  open  her  belly,  but  I  was 
not  at  home. 

A  woman,  among  this  company,  did  cut  open  her  belly,  and  womb. 
And  there  was  found  a  female  infant,  which  began  a  little  to  corrupt  on 
the  crown  of  the  head,  and  at  the  finger  ends,  and  toes. 

All  the  rest  of  the  body  was  sound,  not  in  any  place  offering  to 

This  child,  after  the  usual  time  of  women  going  with  child,  shee 
carried  in  her  womb  above  two  years,  seven  moneths,  or  a  longer  time. 

This  wandering  woman,  her  physician,  leaving  Loughborrow,  in 
her  comming  nigh  to  Darby,  was  delivered  of  a  child  in  a  ditch  with- 
out the  help  of  midwife,  or  any  assisting  woman  shee  took  up  her  child, 
and  brought  it  with  her  alive  to  Darby.     So  shee  escaped  hanging. 

Shee  took  upon  her  great  matters,  and  rare  cures  in  Physick,  and 
chirurgery.  Her  Apothecaries  shop  was  a  butter  milk  can,  in  which 
shee  kept  the  universall  medicine  to  cure  epilepsies,  Palsies,  Lethargies, 
Consumptions,  Dropsies,  the  lame,  and  blind;  sweFd,  as  also  all 
withered,  decayed  members.  But,  her  practice  failing,  shee  fell  to 
theeving.  Shee  was  necessitated  to  flie,  and  run  away  from  Darby, 
fearing  the  Hangman's  Budget. 

I  make  mention  of  these  reports,  for  that  I  knew  each  of  these 
passages  to  be  true.  And  I  admired  at  the  gathering  again  of  new 
waters,  in  which  the  infant  was  long  preserved,  without  any  more  putre- 

A  child 
born  in 
a  ditch. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


There  was  a  Strang,  yet  true  accident,  which  happened  at  Ash- 
burne  in  Darbyshire. 

At  the  first  hearing  of  it,  and  fov  that  I  would  bee  more  certainly 
informed  of  the  truth,  I  sent  unto  my  friend  Mr  Abraham  Mercer, 
lecturer  of  the  place,  desiring  him,  to  let  mee  have  a  true  relation  of  it, 
and  from  him  I  received  this  certificate  December  the  9.  1667. 

Emme,  the  wife  of  Thomas  Toplace,  was  five  dayes  in  labour. 
The  sixth  day,  shee  had  a  medicine  given  her,  to  ease  her  paines,  by  a 
Doctor  of  Divinity,  pretending  some  small  skill  in  physick.  After  the 
taking  of  the  medicine,  in  the  evening,  shee  was  supposed  to  bee  dead; 
and,  after  nine  a  clock  that  night  shte  was  buried. 

As  shee  was  carried  to  the  grave,  some  thought,  that  they  heard  a 
rumbling  in  the  coffin.  A  noise  was  heard  like  the  breaking  of  a 
bladder,  after  which  followed  a  noisome  smell.  Shee  had  an  ill  condi- 
tioned man  to  her  husband,  that  frequently  gave  her  evill  words,  and, 
oft,  blows  with  them. 

Her  Husband,  with  his  mother,  and  the  midwife,  with  some  other 
women,  made  haste  to  bury  her,  having,  among  other  things,  filled  her 
mouth  with,  hurds. 

Severall  women  were  much  troubled  at  her  hasty  buriall,  and 
thought,  That  shee  was  not  dead. 

Among  this  company  there  was  one  Anne  Chadwick,  by  name, 
that  returned  to  the  grave ;  and,  laying  her  eare  to  the  ground,  shee 
heard  a  sighing,  as  it  might  bee  of  one  dying  in  that  grave. 

A  souldier,  being  with  her,  heard  the  same,  and  hee  affirmed,  be- 
sides the  sighing,  that  hee  heard  the  crying  of  a  child. 





Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

They  went  to  Mr.  Pegg,  a  Justice  of  the  Peace  in  that  Town, 
and  told  him  of  it,  as  also  the  minister,  and  others,  what  noise  was 
heard  in  the  grave ;  and  Anne  Chadwick  said,  That  shee  beleeved  that 
the  woman  was  alive. 

The  earth  was  cast  off  from  the  coffin,  and  the  coffin  was  found 
somewhat  opened,  where,  formerly,  the  bords  were  joined  together,  with 
a  ridg  at  the  top,  and  the  coffin  was  hot. 

After  that,  it  was  opened ;  the  woman's  hand  was  seen  bare,  and 
some  saw  hurds  lying  on  her  breast,  and  in  her  hand,  with  which  her 
mouth  had  been  stopt  by  her  husband's  friends.  And  it  was  beleeved, 
That  the  buried  woman  had  pulled  those  hurds  out  of  her  mouth  with 
her  own  hand,  after  that  shee  was  interred. 

Another  woman  put  downe  her  hand,  and  found  a  child,  delivered 
in  the  coffin,  and  descended  as  low  as  her  knees,  or  lower,  with  one 
hand  in  the  mouth,  and  the  other  extended  by  the  side,  and  the  after- 
burden  was  also  come  from  her. 

Her  husband,  with  Ins  mother,  and  the  midwife,  with  others, 
which  laid  her  forth  (after  her  supposed  death)  were  much  displeased, 
that  the  grave  was  opened,  and  at  the  murmuring  of  the  people.  Hee 
gave  threatening  words  against  some  of  the  company ;  but,  at  last,  hee 
thought  that  it  was  his  best  way  to  bee  quiet,  and  to  let  all  their  words, 
and  deeds  sleep  with  his  deceased  wife. 

I  shall  leave  her  husband,  and  his  mother,  and  the  women,  that 
would  have  her  so  suddenly  buried,  to  bee  censured,  as  each  particular 
person  pleaseth. 

Whether  this  woman  was  alive,  or  dead,  when  shee  was  buried. 

Percivall  Willushby,  Gentleman. 


Elizabeth  Shent,  with  her  mother  Anne  Chad  wick,  with  others, 
affirme  these  passages  to  bee  true,  and  the  coffin  was  left  open  all  that 
night,  that  the  bodies  of  the  mother,  and  the  child  might  bee  seen  by 
all  those,  that  would  look  on  them. 

Mr  Abraham  Mercer,  also,  took  a  certificat  out  of  the  Parish 
Register  book,  where  it  was  thus  recorded. 

April  the  20, 1650  was  buried  Emme  the  wife  of  Thomas  Toplace, 
who  was  found  delivered  of  a  child,  after  shee  had  laine  two  houres  in 
the  grave. 

Eor  this  woman's  sake,  1  would  not  have  women  to  bee  suddenly 
buried,  dying  in  child-bed,  before  signes  of  putrefaction  do  manifestly 
appeare.  Especially,  if  that  they  have  taken  any  medicine  to  ease  pain, 
and  cause  sleep. 

Dr  Harvey  fol.  492  saith,  How  great  furtherance  the  foetus  doth 
confer  to  its  own  birth,  severall  observations  do  clearly  evince. 
Farther  hee  reporteth. 

That  a  certain  woman  here  among  us  (I  speak  it  knowingly)  was 
(being  dead  over  night)  left  alone  in  her  chamber.  But,  the  next 
morning,  an  infant  was  there  found  between  her  legs,  which  had,  by  his 
own  force,  wrought  his  release. 

There  was  a  naturall  foole,.  shee  had  good  friends.  It  was  her 
mishap  to  prove  with  child.  Her  friends  were  very  carefull  of  her,  and. 
shee  lay  between  two  women  every  night,  and,  by  them,  shee  was  looked 
unto,  and  attended. 



Observations  in  Midivifery,  by 

But,  at  the  last,  not  knowing  what  labour  was,  as  these  women 
slept,  finding  her  belly  to  ake,  shee  stole  from  between  them,  and  hasted 
to  a  ditch  side,  where  did  run  a  small  rivulet  of  water;  There,  supposing 
to  ease  her  belly- ach,  instead  of  a  naturall  sioole,  an  abortion  came  from 

This  business  was  soon  begun,  and  quickly  ended,  and  shee 
presently  returned. 

But  the  women,  her  attenders,  missing  her,  did  arise  to  follow 
her,  and  they  met  her  nigh,  comming  towards  the  house.  They  asked 
her  where  shee  had  been ;  shee  said,  That  her  belly  did  ake,  that  shee 
went  to  the  ditch  to  grunt,  that  some-thing  was  come  from  her,  and 
that  it  lay  on  the  bank. 

So  this  poor  creature,  not  knowing  what  labour  meant,  was, 
through  ignorance,  by  Dame  nature,  quickly,  and  easily  delivered ;  and, 
instead  of  going  to  the  ground,  was  freed  of  an  abortment. 

IMevertheles  the  Coroner  sent  this  poor  foole  to  the  Goale.  Shee 
knew  not  how  to  plead  for  her  life.  I  was  heartily  grieved  at  her  sim- 
plicity. I  moved  the  Coroner  to  speak  for  her.  Hee  informed  the  judg, 
that  it  was  a  very  small  child,  and  the  whole  Bench  saw  that  shee  was  a 
foole.  It  was  in  the  Protector's  dayes,  and  I  feared  that  shee  would 
have  summum  jus. 

The  judg  shewed  the  statute-Book  to  the  jury.  Neither  judg, 
nor  jury  regarded  her  simplicity.  They  found  her  guilty,  the  judg  con- 
demned her,  and  shee  was,  afterwards,  hanged  for  not  having  a  woman 
by  her,  at  her  delivery. 

Let  all  honest  women  take  notice  how  easily,  and  quickly  shee 
was  delivered,  through  warme  keeping,  and  quietnes,  without  a  midwife. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Let  the  looser  sort  fear  to  commit  folly,  and,  if  casually  they 
should  transgresse,  to  bee  carefull,  not  to  bee  alone  in  their  travaile, 
least  they  should  suffer,  as  tins  poore,  simple  creature  did. 

And  let  all  midwives  bee  assured,  That  it  is  not  their  labours,  in 
pulling,  and  haling  their  women's  bodies,  that  causeth  delivery. 

But  that  it  is  the  work  of  Dame  nature.  And  that  the  apple, 
peare,  or  plumb,  or  any  other  fruit,  being  full  ripe,  will  fall  off  it  self, 
without  enforcement. 

Felice  Hollinghurst,  midwife  at  Rudgeley  in  Staffordshire,  certi- 
fied mee,  That  Alice  Harrison,  a  servant,  being  with  child,  but  not 
mistrusted,  dwelling  at  Ingam-Thorpe  in  Cank  wood,  hasted  to  a  midden, 
in  which  shee  made  a  hole,  into  which  the  fruit  of  her  body  (a  female 
infant)  was  suddenly  dropped.  Shee,  seeing  her  Mrs  comming,  did 
leave  the  place.  Her  Mrs,  hearing  a  child  to  cry,  went  to  the  hole, 
and  took  up  the  infant,  smeared  with  muck,  and  carried  it  into  the 
house.  The  woman  was  caught,  and  brought  to  the  child,  and  shee  was 
happy  that  it  pluckt  her  breast,  so  shee  escaped  the  gallows  about  the 
faU  of  the  leaf  1668,  or  69. 

Country  Observations. 

Let  midwives  observe  the  countryman,  how  he  will  bring  his  cold, 
stiff  bootes,  or  shooes  to  the  fire,  how  hee  will  warm  them  by  degrees ; 
and,  afterwards,  how  liee  will  smear  them  over  with  grease,  and  then 
rub  it  into  the  leather.  . 

Thus  doth  liee  make  his  boots,  or  shooes  to  become  limber,  soft, 
and  easy  to  draw  on,  without  hurting  his  feet,  the  which  hee  could  not 
do  afore,  but  with  much  strugling,  and  hurting  himself,  and  torturing 
his  feet  with  paine,  and  endangering  the  tearing  of  the  leather. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Midwives,  think  of  this  leather,  when  that  you  anoint  your 
women's  bodies  with  ointments,  or  balsamum  Hystencum.    See  fol.  177. 

Observe  the  Smith,  when  hee  is  called  to  open  a  lock,  that  is  out 
of  order,  how  he  will  smear  Ms  key  with  grease,  before  he  endeavoureth 
to  open  the  lock ;  and  how  he  will  gently  move  it  up,  and  down,  not 
striving  with  violence,  and  sudden  motions,  to  unlock  the  same ;  and 
how,  at  last,  through  patience,  and  easy  motions,  hee  becommeth  Mr  of 
his  desires,  without  breaking  the  key,  or  spoiling  the  lock. 

The  womb  is  a  place  locked  up.  Let  midwives  so  deale  with  their 
travailing  women,  so  will  the  birth  be  more  easy,  and  the  child  not 
pulled  to  pieces,  or  destroyed,  nor  the  woman  torn,  or  ruinated  by  the 
midwife's  struglings,  or  stretchings  of  their  bodies.  In  fitting  time 
nature  .will  open  the  womb. 

Let  all  midwives  observe  the  wayes  and  proceedings  of  nature  for 
the  production  of  their  fruits  in  trees,  the  ripening  of  walnuts,  and 
almonds,  from  their  first  knotting,  unto  the  opening  of  the  husk,  and 
falling  off  the  nut,  and  considering  their  signatures,  to  take  notice,  how 
beneficiall  their  oiles  may  bee  for  use  in  their  practice,  for  the  easing  of 
their  labouring  woman. 

Both  these  fruits  have  their  green  husks,  without  any  chappings, 
sticking  so  close  unto  them,  that  it  is  not  possible  to  separate  the  husk 
from  the  shell,  in  which  the  fruit  is  inclosed,  whilest  that  it  is  green, 
and  unripe. 

But,  as  the  fruit  ripeneth,  so,  by  degrees,  this  husk,  of  it  self, 
will  separate  from  the  shell,  which,  at  last,  by  it's  own  accord,  chappeth, 
and,  with  a  fissure,  openeth,  and,  by  degrees,  separateth  from  the  fruit. 
Then  cloth  the  husk  turn  up  the  edges,  and  give  wa}^,  without  any  en- 

forcement,  for  the  falling  off  the  nut.  Lastly,  how  this  husk  becom- 
meth  black,  and  rotteth  away  from  the  tree,  representing  the  comming 
away  of  the  secondine. 

This  signature  may  teach  the  midwife  patience,  and  to  perswade 
them,  to  let  nature  alone,  to  performe  her  own  work,  and  not  to  crosse 
nature,  in  disquieting  their  women  by  their  laborious  struglings. 

For,  as  I  have  oft  said,  such  enforcements,  used  by  ignorant  mid- 
wives,  do  rather  hinder  the  birth,  then,  any  way,  promote  it,  and  that 
they  oft  ruinate  the  mother ;  and,  usually,  the  child,  and  too  often  de- 
stroy both  mother,  and  child. 

An  egge  representeth  the  womb.  Now  the  hen,  with  keeping  the 
egge  warm,  doth  breed  the  chicken,  the  which,  when  it  is  come  to 
maturity,  doth  chip  the  shell,  and,  by  degrees,  is  hatched,  without  being 
navell-gauled,  or  made  bloody  in  any  part. 

But,  if  the  countrywoman  will  hasten  the  hatching  of  the  chicken, 
by  endeavouring  to  pull  off  the  shell  from  the  chicken,  shee  then  maketh 
an  effusion  of  blood,  and  a  navel-rupture,  so  the  guts  of  the  chicken 
falleth  out  of  the  body,  and  the  chicken  dieth. 

So  hasty  midwives  oft  cause  effusions  of  blood,  in  the  delivery  of 
women,  and  too  oft  destroy  infants,  by  their  too  officious  struglings  in 
the  woman. 

Whereas,  if  the  countrywoman  would  let  the  hen  alone,  and  the 
midwife  not  trouble  the  labouring  woman,  both  chicken,  and  infant 
misrht  better  bee  saved. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  Index  of  the  Auctor. 


Accidents  of  the  after-birth,  Guilliroeau,      - 

The  Lady  "Fitton,  Sr  Charles  Addersl/s  Lady,    - 

Mrs.  Alestry,             __---.__ 


Mrs.  Susan  Alport,         ..-..__ 

Mrs.  Anson,              .._..... 


The  Lady  Atherly, 


Abortion,         ..-_--..- 


Arme,           --------- 


Amnion            -.--._                  _ 



Mary  Baker,          -------- 


Mrs.  Catherine  Bambridge,          ------ 


Old  Mrs.  Bambridge  the  mother,     -         -         - 


Anne  Barnet,            ________ 


Margery  Barker,             ------- 


Mary  Barton,            -------- 


Mrs.  Bateman,       -------- 


Goodwife  Bayly,        -------- 


Dorothy  Bayly,      --.----- 


Grace  Beechcroft,      -------- 


John  Besecht's  daughter, 


Some  would  have  all  births  turned  to  the  head, 


William  Blood's  wife,     -         - 


Anne  Bonsall,           .-..-.-_ 



Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Mrs.  Bright,         - 

The  Lady  Broughton, 

Brumicham,  the  Innkeeper's  wife,   - 

Afterbirth,  - 

Bolster,  - 


Isabel  Carter, 

Mr.  Charles,  the  minister's  wife, 

The  Countesse  of  Chesterf.,    - 

Mr.  Cornelius  Clark's  wife, 

Joseph  Clark's  wife, 

Mr.  Clark's  wife  by  the  Brook, 

Dr.  Chambers,  perhaps, 

Christopher  Naylor's  wife, 

Elizabeth  Cockin  lapsus  uteri 

Mrs.  Coke  of  Trusly, 

The  Cook's  wife  of  Rishly, 

A  Colliers's  wife's  loosness, 

A  Coshall  woman, 

Sarah  Cordine, 

Cotchet  the  Captaine, 

A  Countryman's  wife  at  London, 

Mrs.  Crafts  cancerous, 

Anne  Creswick, 

Crochet       - 

Mrs.  Crampton  by  Stone, 

Eleanor  Cripple,   - 















Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Mrs.  Curson,            ._.-.. 


Clysters,      -------- 

When  the  child  is  entered  into  the  bones, 

-       62—18 

Chorion,      -------- 


Child  in  the  womb,            ._-... 


Cotchet's  wife,      ------- 


Medicines  to  draw  forth  the  child, 


Canda  mulierum,            ------ 



Edward  Dainty,        ------ 

Dr.  Dakins's  wife,         -         -                   - 

-      217—10 

Isabel  Dakins,          ------ 


Catherine  Davies,           ------ 

-  108—127 

Difficulty  of  birth, 

Susan  Doughty,             ....-- 


Alice  Doxy,     ------- 

Mrs.  Dubton,       ------- 


Best  way  of  delivery,         - 

Delivery  without  midwife,       ----- 



Grace  Edinser,          ------ 


Elizabeth  Elde, - 


Sr  Tennebs  Evank,            - 


Verba  Antonij  Everardi,          - 
Effluxion,        -         -         -         -         - 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 



Mary  Faring,        ------- 


Alice  Feme,              ._..... 


The  Lady  Fitton,  Sr  Charles  Addersly's  lady,     - 


Elianor  Fletcher,      ------- 


Goodwife  Forman,         ------ 


Anne  Frith  or  Smith,         ------ 



Mrs.  Gilbert  of  Loccho,          - 


Mrs.  Gifford,            ...                  ... 


Mrs.  Catherine  Gorton,           ...... 


The  Lady  Griffin, 


Mrs.  Grant,          ------- 



Mrs.  Margaret  Hallowes,                      - 


My  Cousin  Hannom's  Daughter,      - 


Mrs.  Mary  Harley,             -..-.. 


Anne  Harrison,              -._-_- 


Heath  chan.  eger.         ------ 


El.  H.  El.  H. 


Mrs.  Alice  Heath, 


The  Huntsman's  wife  of  Colton,          - 



Mercy  Haywood,            ------ 


Mrs.  Harpur,            ------- 


Mary  Hector,       ------- 


Mrs.  Hoden,             ...__.- 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Mrs  Higs,            ......_ 


Elizabeth  Holland,            -         - 


Mrs  Hopkins  Draper  at  Darby,        ..... 


Hampton  Redway,              ...... 


Mrs  Houghton  of  Darby,       ..... 


Countesse  of  Huntington,           -         - 


Husan's  wife,       .         -         -         .         .         . 


Hymen,           -         -         -         -    , .    - 


Holerentius's  wife,          ...... 


Haling  &c.  naught,            ...... 


Humours  before  delivery,        - 


Hydrocephalos,         ._..... 


Thomas  Hofe's  wife,      ------ 


Honey- comb,            ....... 


Th.  Hood's  wife,           -         -                   ... 




Goodwife  Jackson  of  Nungreen,           .... 


Mrs  Mary  James,          ------ 



Jennings  the  Apothecary,            ..... 


Ignorant  Daies,              ...... 


Goodwife  Johnson,             ...... 


The  Irish  relation,         -         -         -         -         - 


Against  Iliack  passion,       ------ 



Catherine  Key,      ------- 


King's  Bramley,       ------- 


Shooe  lane  cheating  knaves, 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


The  birth  by  the  knees,               - 

Mrs  Kniveton,               --.__._ 





Dorothy  Launt,              ___„___ 


Laxington,       ______ 


Tbe  Lady  Holt  Leigh,             -.____ 


The  Lady  Leigh  at  Eidway,                  - 


Mrs  Lilly  of  Diseworth,         ------ 


Mrs  Low's  daughter  of  Denby,            - 


Forerunner  of  labour,              ____.. 


Signes  of  labour,      -                                      - 


To  prepare  women  for  labour,          - 


Susan  Loue,             _______ 



Mrs  Maneuring,            _______ 


Mrs  Marcome,          _______ 


Mrs  Mary  Mercer,        ---____ 


Mrs  Middleton  of  Wandsly, 


K.  P.  a  London  midwife  very  officious,     - 


Young  midwives,      -         - 


The  duty  of  midwives,            ___,_.-_ 


Midwives  that  will  not  fetch  the  after-birth, 


Ignorant  mid.       -------- 


Mrs  Milward,            -         -         -         -         - 

Jane  Molineux,     ------ 


Eobt  Middleton's  wife,               ____■__ 





Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Goodwife  More  of  Nottingham,           - 


Mrs  Isabel  Mumford,              _____ 


When  midwife  to  begin  to  assist,         - 


How  to  dry  milk  after  birth,            - 


De  Mola,        - - 



Mrs  Nabs  of  Stafford, 


Christopher  Naylor's  wife,           - 


A  distorted  neck,           - 

-      163,  &c. 

Dorothy  North, 


Nature's  force  for  expulsion,                      -         - 


111  to  have  the  navel-string  long  in  the  world, 



Goodwife  Oldam,           - 


Mrs  Okeover,           _______ 


Goodwife  Osborne,        -         -         -         - 


The  woman  of  Osliston,    ------ 



Mrs  Elizabeth  Parker, 


Cleare  Pearson,         ------- 


Mrs  Perkins,        ....... 


Goodwife  Percy  at  Wollerton,              


Margery  Philips, 


Goodwife  Picraft,     ------- 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Mrs  Elizabeth  Potter,  Mr  Tho  :  Potter's  wife, 


Powell  at  Weston,              - 


Mrs  Powell  a  scholemrs  wife,           - 


Jane  Potter  of  Duffield,              -         - 


Mrs  Price,             _______ 


Pil.  Pacifica,              __„____ 


Piles  in  child-bed,          ______ 


John  Primer's  wife,            ______ 


Mrs  Pickard,        _______ 


De  partu  nnllo,        _____„_ 




Elianor  Ragge,              ______ 


Paith  Kaworth,          _______ 


Mrs  Season,          -         -   ■      - 


Goodwife  Renshaw,             ______ 


Jeremy  Rhodes  wife,       -         -         -         _         -         - 


Mr  Robert  Ring's  wife,      ______ 


Risedale's  wife,      ------- 



Isaac  Saint's  wife,     _______ 


Mrs             Shelton,        -         -         -       .  -    .     - 


Mrs  Sheevirall,          _______ 


Mrs  Shaw  of  London, 

-     251—37 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Smedly,            ........ 


Alice  Smith  of  Darby,             ....._ 


Mrs  Smith  of  Quinborrow,         ....         - 


Joane  Smith,         ...-.._. 


Mrs  Snead,      ..._.--. 


Mrs  Mary  Spademan,              

Spink  in  the  strand,           .... 


Jane  Spencer,        ........ 


Elizabeth  Stone,        ------- 


Secondine,    -         -         -         -         -         -         -'- 


Mrs  Staynes,            -         - 


Scouring  in  child-bed,             ------ 


Superfetation,           ------- 



Sr  Tennebs  Evank,        ------- 


Emme  Toplace,         -         -         -         -         -         -         - 


Woman  tossed  in  a  blanket,              - 


John  Twigs,             ------- 


Elizabeth  Twomley,       ------- 


Twins  how  many  at  a  time,         _...-.. 


The  latter  twin  to  bee  fetched  away  presently  after  the  first,  - 


Some  twins  included  all  in  one  after-birth,         - 


Tab's  wife,       -------- 




Mrs  Walker, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Mrs  Judith  Ward, 


Mrs  Watson, 


Mrs  Whitehalgh  at  Park-hall,              ..... 


Dr  John  Wilby, 


Mrs  Jane  Wildbore,           --.... 


Goodwife  Wilder,           -_-... 



Mrs  Willis  nigh  London,            - 


A  countrywoman  nigh  London,        • 


Councellour  Milward's  wife,        ..... 


A  woman  tossed  in  a  blanket,           .... 


No  woman  born  a  midwife,          ...... 


Italian  &  Irish  women,            - 


Woman  with  a  broken  arme,       - 


Colton  poore  woman,     ------ 


Mrs  Wollaston, 


Shestock  woman  delivered  under  a  park  pale, 


The  womb  forced  open  by  straining,              ... 


E.  W., 


A  woman  delivered  after  shee  was  buried, 




Goodwife  Yates  of  Darby,      - 



The  Lady  Zouch,      --.._.. 


Zacutus  Lusitanus,                                     -         _ 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

An  Additionall    Table. 


Abortion, 263 

Women,  that,  after  abortion,  conceived,  and  were  in  due  time 
delivered,  and,  after  that  deliverance,  ejected  the  reliques 
of  the  abortion  a  foregoing,  -         -         -  263  see  265 

The  after-birth,  -         -         11—116  &c— 222— 235— 236— 237 

Afterbirth  to  bee  fetched  as  soon  as  the  child  is  borne,  and  how 

to  fetch  it, 236—26—27 

What  to  do  after  the  afterbirth  is  fetched,      -         -         -         -  28 

When  some  part  of  the  after-birth  remaines  what  to  do,       -  28 

Strang  afterbirths, 50 — 166  &c 

What  to  do,  when  afterbirth  offereth  it  self  before  the  child  bee 

borne, 168  &c— 238 

To  expell  the  after-burden,     -         -         -         -         -         -  173 

The  membrane  Amnion,  .....  265 — 3 

Apothecaries,        ........  248 

To  mitigate  after-paines,  -         -         -         -         -         -         256 

Arme,     -       .-         55—90—43—120—93—95—97—98— 

99—125—199—208—218—247—249—250  97  &c 

Madame  Arnault  a  Frenchwoman,        -  24 

Aron  roots, 175 

Dr  Audley, 180 

Belly,  back,  buttocks, 

A  Baker's  wife  at  Scrapton, 

Balsamum  Hystericum, 


91—120—129—130  &c. 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Some  children  born  by  the  buttocks,              -          -          - 


What  first  to  do  in  a  difficult  birth,           .... 


To  alter  the  birth  by  rolling  the  belly,           - 


Mrs  Beaumont  mightily  given  to  sweetmeats,     - 


The  bed  to  deliver  women  in,      -----         - 


A  natural!  birth  made  difficult,         - 


Two  things  requisite  in  a  naturall  birth,        .... 


A  birth  without  the  midwife's  help,           - 


An  easy  naturall  birth,       -_-...    39 — 33 


Preparatives  for  birth,             --.-..       64 


Causes  of  difficult  birth,             ....       51 — 52  fee- 


Not  to  turne  the  birth  to  the  head,           - 


A  breach  made  from  the  birth  into  the  fundament, 


Cold  hinders  the  birth,            ....__ 


Outward  passages  of  the  birth-place  stopt, 


Eesemblances  of  the  birth,     ....            275 — 276— 


Clotters  of  blood,      -------- 


Use  of  the  bolster  in  delivery,    -    75 — 91 — 154.     How  to  bee 

placed,          _--.-._. 


Child  much  entered  through  the  bones  in  a  naturall  birth, 


Unnaturall  births,          -         -         -         -         -         -         -102— 


111  position  of  bones,         -         -         -         -         -         -         -108  &c 

Both  bones  of  arm  broke,  and  did  not  unite  again,     - 


Breech  taken  for  the  head,          -                ■   - 


Anne  Bradford  of  Walton  midwife,           - 


To  distinguish  buttocks  from  head,      - 


Bones  called  ossa  pubis  part  not  in  time  of  delivery  as  Pareus 

will  have  it,  and  Dr  Harvey  also,          - 


Naturall  and  unnaturall  birth,              -         -         - 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Madam  Louyce  Boarges,          -._... 


Ill  conformation  of  the  bones,     -                                 109 — 80 — 11 

Cancer  in  the  womb  taken  for  a  child,           - 

2  &c 


Cancerous  tumours,        -         -         -         -         -         -         -227- 


At  what  age  cancers  happen  to  women,         -         -         - 


An  Aphorisme  of  Hippocrates  about  cancers, 


Cauda  Mulierum,      -------- 


Child  sticks  not  to  the  back  or  side,  as  some  midwives  talk, 


How  it  lies  in  the  womb,             __-_-_ 


The  reason  why  the  child  would  bee  out  of  the  womb, 


Child  scrabling  with  his  fingers  at  the  mouth  of  the  womb,        22- 


Child  comming  crosse  as  midwives  say,         - 


To  know  whether  the  child  bee  alive  or  dead,     - 


A  child  born  in  a  ditch,     ------- 


A  child  born  in  the  grave,       -         -         -         - 


A  naturall  foole  with  child  hanged,  for  being  delivered  of  an 

abortion,  nobody  being  by          -         -         -         -         -   273  &c 

A  giant-like  child,         ------- 


Child  too  great,        -------- 


Mercatus  against  cutting  children,    - 


Oile  of  charity,         -------- 


Things  to  draw  forth  the  child,         ------ 


A  woman  with  child  when  no  passage  for  seed  into  the  womb, 


Women,  that  thought  themselves  with  child,  who  yet  were  not, 

and  continued  barren  ever  after,           -         -        266 — 267— 


A  child  carried  two  yeares  and  above  in  the  womb, 


To  know  when  the  child  is  weak,         - 


Overgrown  children,      -         -         -  .       -         -         -         -88 


Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 



-  3—265 


-  63—5 


A  rash,  ignorant  chirurgeon,       - 

To  abate  the  paines  of  childbearing, 

The  membrane  chorion,     ----- 

It  groweth  to  the  secondine,  -         -         -         - 

What  the  chorion  is  like  when  the  after  birth  is  fetched, 

The  benefit  of  clysters  before  travaile,       -     5 — 18 

An  example  of  a  clyster,  - 

The  quantity  of  it, 

Margaret  Cliffe,        ------ 

111  succes  of  a  clyster  given  before  labour, 

Clyster  pipe,  ....... 

Oscoccygis,         -  76—80—81—106—110—109 

Conceptions,  brought  forth  whole,  with  membranes,  most  natural!,      40 


202  &c— 83 






-  88—89 


88  &c 




Against  a  convolvulus,  - 

Convulsions,  __.__.. 

To  deliver  speedily  in  convulsions, 
Goodwife  Cole,         __..__. 
What  posture  best  in  using  the  crochet     - 
When  safest  to  draw  the  child  with  the  crochet,     - 
The  fashion  of  the  crochet,     - 
Child  drawn  with  the  crochet,     - 
To  draw  with  the  crochet,  114—127—150—152—153. 
gerous,        __--_-- 
To  distinguish  paines  of  colick  from  paines  in  travaile,    ■ 
To  recover  one  grown  cold  after  delivery, 
Mercatus  against  cutting  children,       - 


Some  new  thing  in  every  delivery, 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

3  humours  come  away  before  the  time  of  delivery,           -          -            13 

No  separation  of  Ilium  from  os  sacrum  in  time  of  delivery,         15 — 16 

Severall  wayes  of  delivery,  and  which  best,       18 — 73 — 74 — 153 — 154 

What  to  bee  done  before  delivery,              -         -         -   37  &c — 19 — 41 

What  at  delivery,  what  after,      -                   -          -      28—29—25—26 

A  souldier's  wife  in  Ireland  delivered  without  any  help,         •          34  &c 

A  woman  delivered  in  a  common,         -         -         -          -          -           35 

Another  in  a  wood,        __.---_                35 

A  powder  to  promove  delivery,              -         -         -         -         -           60 

Good  to  keep  bed  long,  after  delivery,       -         -         -         -             213 

A  woman  delivered  in  a  park,  nobody  by,      -                                       233 

Another  delivered  in  a  lane,              -                                                   234 

An  easy  delivery,      --------         274 

Too  much  drines,         -                   ....    102—105—107 

Midwives  to  use  no  enforcement,          -----             9 

Why  this  book  in  English,     ------                  2 

Effluxion, .         .         .         263 

Excoriations  in  the  womb,      -         -         -         -         -         -             222 

Fainting  fits,         --------       211  &c 

Sometimes  the  birth  unfortunate  by  the  feet,          -         -         -         148 

Mrs.  F.  of  Hopton, 58 

Fluxes  of  blood, 176  &c 

A  medicine  to  stop  a  flux,       -         -         -         -         -         -             179 

Watery  flux, 184—185 

Flouding  most  endangers  the  mother,        -         -         -          -             196 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


The  child's  feet  in  the  womb,      - 


To  help  flouding,           .-__.__ 


Womb  alwayes  open  in  fluxes,    --_--_ 


When  flouding  comes  from  vagina  uteri,  and  what  to  do  then,  188- 


A  course  of  physick  for  that  purpose,        -         -         -         -188- 


Bloody  fluxes  from  whence,         •          -. 


In  great  bloody  fluxes  to  deliver  speedily, 


Fluxes  of  blood  frequently  fatall,         -         -         -         -  187  fee- 


Distilled  water  of  hog's  dung  good  for  a  flux,    -         190 — 201  see  255 

When  flux  comes  from  inner  part  of  womb,  what  to  do,  193 — 196- 


Fluxes  after  delivery,         ------- 


For  a  flux  of  blood, 231- 


When  foetus  would  come  out  of  the  womb, 


Some  new  thing  in  extraction  of  every  dead  foetus, 


Better  learned  by  seeing  than  reading,          - 


Water  cause  of  delivery  of  a  dead,  putrefied  foetus,     -         -  132- 


A  Foetus  solely  contributing  to  his  own  release, 


Verba  Nicolai  Fontani,           ------ 


Forcible  vigour  of  a  lively  foetus,         - 


A  naturall  foole,            __-_-.- 


Foot, 122—124—142—208—209- 


Strang  moisture  out  of  fundament  in  time  of  delivery, 


Child  full  of  gangrene  blisters,             -         -         -         -         - 



Gentlenes  to  bee  used  in  laying  women,    -         -         -         - 


Mrs  Grant,      --------- 



Haling  of  women  naught,      -         -         6 — 8 — 9 — 32 — 33 — 54- 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

The  hand  better  then  crochet,  &c         -         -                   -          149 — 57 

One  hand,            ---_-_■_.               89 

Hands  and  feet,        _._..._..    146  &c 

To  distinguish  between  hand,  foot,  thigh,           -         -         -  134 — 163 

Handy  operation  intent  of  this  treatise,         -                                          1 

Dr  Hatton,           - -         -             180 

Great  head,               ....             46—75—125—59-127 

Head  bending,      --------               76 

Head,    -         -         -      77—80—81—82—84—86—123—124—125 

Skin  of  child's  head  swoln,  into  which  the  braines  were  squeezed,        85 

Dr  Harvey  commended,           -         -                   -         -         -   118 — 119 

How  to  get  child's  head  out  when  it  remaines  alone  in  the 

womb, -  149—150  &c 

To  prevent  separating  of  the  head  from  the  shoulders,          -              150 

What  to  do  when  the  head  is  forth,  and  the  rest  of  the  body  sticks,     154 

What  to  do  when  you  cannot  draw  the  head  out  with  the  crochet,     157 

A  distorted  head, -         -   163 — 166 

A  great  mistake  about  a  child's  head,            -         -        164- — 132 — 134 

What  to  do  when  the  head  is  past  the  bones,  and  can  get  no 

farther/       _._--..-                58 

An  honeycomb,         -..-.._.         357 — 258 

Goodwife  Hood, 268 

Hurtles  after  delivery,       -         -         -         -         -         -         -         128 

Hydrocephalus,     -         -         -         -         -         -         -         -             127 

The  tunicle  hymen, 258 — 259 — 260 

A  woman  with  child  that  had  that  tunicle,          -         -          -              261 


Thomas  James's  wife,         -         -         -         -         -         -         -           35 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Jennings  the  Apothecary, 


A  medicine  for  the  Iliack  passion,         - 


Impostumation  on  the  navel  of  a  woman,           ... 


Impostume  after  delivery,            -         -                   -         - 


A  great  person  in  Ireland,       ------ 


"Wild  Irish  break  ossa  pubis  of  female  infants, 


Wild  Irish  how  delivered,       -         - 


Weak  infant  how  knowne, 


No  such  thing  as  coccyx  broke  in  maids  in  Italy, 



A  woman  of  Kegworth,     ------- 


Doctor  Kettleby,            ------- 


Knees, 91 — 126- 



Forerunners  of  labour,            ------ 


To  prepare  women  for  labour,      ------ 


To  facilitate  labour,       ------- 


A  letter,          --------- 


A  woman  dwelling  nigh  Lichfield,              -         -         -   • 


For  a  loosnes,           -------- 



Good  wife  Menil,             --_._.. 


Midwife  not  absolutely  necessary,         -         -         -      11 — 31 — 32 


Midwife's  office, 5—11 



Books  not  sufficient  to  make  a  good  midwife,         12 — 151 — 191— 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Younger  mid  wives  rebuked,    -----         30 — 72 — 73 

This  book  containes  chiefly  the  Auctour's  own  wayes  in  midwifery,         2 

Cruelty  of  midwives,         55—119—133—151—153—155— 

156—157  &c— 161— 162  &c— 170— 209— 224— 247 

— 250—251—255—277.     How  a  London  midw:  made           73 

To  dry  up  the  milk, 213 

Too  much  moisture  about  passages  of  the  womb  dangerous,     103 — 102 

Demola 253 

Mopishnes  after  hard  labour  dangerous,         -         -         -        214 — 225 

Moreland  the  Innkeeper,         ._-.-_                77 

To  know  when  the  child  commeth  naturally,  when  not,  -         -           25 

To  deliver  a  woman  when  the  child  commeth  naturally,        -                26 

Navelstring  the  guide  to  bring  away  the  secondine,          -         -              5 

111  to  have  the  navel-string  long  in  the  world,    - 

Oakewater,      -----..-_         227 

Country  observations,     -         -         -         -         -          -         -              275 

Salad  oile  to  prepare  women's  bodies,            -         -         -         -           61 

Opening  of  dead  bodies  ordinary  in  Prance  and  Holland,      -             254 


To  distinguish  paines  of  travaile  from  those  of  colick,  cancerous 

tumours,  &c             _-_-__.              5 

Pil.  pacifica,          __--___-              175 

De  partu  nullo,         .--..-.__         266 

Pessaries  not  reach  the  place  from  whence  flouding  comes,    -              202 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 

Piles,  caused  by  hard  labour,  cured, 
John  Plimer's  wife,       -  - 



A  Countesse  voided  something  like  stalks  of  raisins,  -  -  181 
A  doubtfull  remedy  in  a  desperate  disease  better  then  none,  216 — 236 
Pareus  his  way  of  delivering  some  women  by  ribbands,         -  120 

Goodwife  Eight, 250 

Eisings  in  the  body  like  hurtles,       -  ...  128 


A  scholemaster's  wife,        ---__..  £9 

Scouring  in  first  seven  dayes  generally  fatall,      -         -         -  217 — 237 
A  medicine  for  a  scouring,  -         -         -•-         .         -'218 

The  secondine  grows  to  the  botom  of  the  womb  while  the  woman 

is  with  child,        -----__  2 

Upper  part  of  it,       -------         _  3 

Middle  part  of  it,  -------  4 

Matter  of  the  secondine,  -  ibid 

Cesarean  section,  -         -  -          -  -  -  .  101 

Shoulder  fixed  in  the  birth,         -         -         -         -         -         -  75 

When  the  skin  of  a  child  flayes  off  in  the  womb,        -         .-  85 

Skins  comming  away  in  child-bed  dangerous,  -         -          -          225 

Skull  divided, 108 

A  child's  skull  taken  out  of  an  impostumated  side,  -  -  266 
Secondines  that  twins  are  inclosed  in,        -  46 

Child  born  inclosed  in  the  secondine,  ...  40 

Sleeping  after  delivery,  --.....  214 — 234 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

To  cause  sleep,         -  ------ 

A  must  loathsome  smell  of  a  dead  child, 

Sneezing  to  promove  the  birth,  -         -         - 

When  the  Auctor  left  Stafford,         - 

Mrs  Staynes,  ------- 

Pulvis  stegnoticus,         ------ 

Stones,  wrapt  in  slime,  and  skins,  from  the  bladder, 
Stones  wrapped  in  flesh  and  skins, 
Superfetation,  -         -         - 

Sutures  of  a  child's  head  firm,  aud  hard, 
For  a  swelling,         -         - 


Infusion  of  tin  in  white  wine,  - 

What  to  bee  done  when  travaile  approacheth, 

For  thirstines,        ------- 

Signes  of  travaile  approaching, 

A  forerunner  of  travaile,          - 

Medicines  not  to  bee  too  soone  given  to  promove  travaile, 

An  hard  scirrhous  tumour  in  one  side  of  the  womb, 

A  tumour  as  big  as  a  peny  loaf  in  the  womb, 


Not  good  to  have  vagina  uteri  softish,       - 

Cancerous  ulcer,        ------- 

Vomiting  in  labour,  and  after  delivery  not  to  bee  liked, 


Breaking  of  waters  in  women  with  child,       ... 









Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


No  delivery  of  a  woman  till  womb  open,  and  waters,  in 


be  issued,             _..„_- 



If  infant  come  with  waters,  birth  more  easy, 


Danger  of  waters  untimely  let  forth,          -          • 

20 — S 



Two  or  3  gallons  of  water  voided  5  dayes  before  delivery, 



Waters,  dribling  long,  what  they  signifie, 

-  Yt 



When  to  let  out  the  waters  though  not  broken, 



Driblings  of  the  water  most  endanger  the  child, 



New  waters,              ..._... 



What  to  bee  done  in  By-waters,  as  midwives  call  them, 



Strang  blasts  of  wind  from  the  womb  in  time  of.  delivery, 




Winstandly,          ..._._- 



A  self-willed  woman,          ------ 




Weaknes  of  woman  to  bee  delivered, 



Violent  motion  hurtfull  to  women  with  child, 



Women,  dying  in  childbed,  not  to  bee  suddenly  buried, 



A  woman,  dead  over  night,  delivered  next  morning, 



The  womb,            _..__-- 



Outward  orifice  of  the  womb  closed,  and  how  cured, 


242  &c 

Best  and  safest  way  to  preserve  a  weak  woman  in  extremity, 


Neck  of  the  womb,  being  scirrhous,  cured, 



But  hardly  beleeved,           -.._-. 



Womb  fallen  down,  and  after  cut  off,         - 




Womb  keeps  not  alwayes  one  certain  site, 



*Willughby,  Mrs.,  Midwife. 













There  bee  diverse  births  mentioned  by  severall  Auctors,  with  their 
various  formes  of  the  child  proceeding  forth  of  the  womb,  expressed, 
and  shewed  by  their  schemes. 

All  which  may  bee  reduced  to  two,  either  to  the  head,  or  to  the 


The  birth,  comming  by  the  head,  is  called  a  naturall  birth.     The 
birth  by  the  feet  is  called  by  midwives  an  unnaturall  birth. 

To  these  may  be  added  the  birth  by  the  buttocks,  which  is  not 


And  by  one  of  these  three  wayes  all  women  bee  delivered. 

But,  for  that  the  birth,  comming  by  the  buttocks,  may  bee  easily 
altered,  and  that  the  infant  may  bee  brought  forth  by  the  feet ;  as  also, 
for  that  this  birth  hath  been  fatal  to  some  women,  and  may  again  prove 
dangerous  to  others,  miles  it  bee  turned  to  the  feet,  I  therefore  say, 
that  all  births  bee  produced  either  by  the 

Head  or  by  the  feet, 

All  unnaturall  births  comming  by  the  arme,  belly,  or  back,  side, 
or  buttocks,  or  by  the  knees,  or  with  a  distorted  neck,  may  easily  and 
quickly  bee  brought  to  the  feet. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And  by  the  feet  of  the  infant  (miles  the  birth  bee  monstrous,  or 
much  besides  the  usuall  limits  of  nature)  an  understanding  midwife  may 
quickly  deliver  her  labouring  woman  of  all  unnaturall  births  (shee  hav- 
ing no  ill  conformation  of  the  bones,  occasioned  by  the  rickets,  or  too 
narrow  a  passage,  or  by  other  unusuall  infirmities,  or  tumours,  or  sores 
in  the  genitall  parts)  although  shee  have  no  throwes  to  assist  nature  for 
the  thrusting  forth  of  the  birth,  by  drawing  the  infant  gently  by  the 

The  birth  by  the  feet  usually  proveth  good,  and  fortunate,  so  that 
the  midwife  knoweth,  and  understandeth  the  well  ordering  of  the  de- 

Let  midwives  read  what  hath  been  written  in  my  observations,  let 
them  consider  diligently  the  severall  reports,  not  fained,  or  taken  upon 
the  supposition,  or  the  surmized  thoughts  of  Auctors,  or  man's  fantasy, 
sitting  and  meditating  in  his  study ;  but  on  that,  which  really  de  facto 
hath  been  performed  by  mee  in  the  travailing  woman's  chamber  (through 
God's  assistance,  and  his  gracious  permission)  before  severall  midwives, 
by  mee  assisted,  and  other  women  there  present. 

And  God  Almighty,  in  mercy,  give,  and  increase  to  midwives 
their  knowledg,  and  understandings,  with  much  tender  affections,  and 
willingnes  to  comfort;  and  help  all  their  suffering,  and  distressed 
women,  desirous  of  their  assistance  in  the  afflicted  time  of  their  travaile, 
as  well  the  poor,  as  the  rich. 

And  let  midwives  know,  That  they  bee  nature's  servants,  let  them 
alwayes  remember,  That  gentle  proceedings  (with  moderate  warm  keep- 
ing, and  having  their  endeavours  dulcified  with  sweet  words)  will  best 
ease,  and  relieve,  and  soonest  deliver  their  labouring  women ;  after  that 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


their  bodies  bee  prepared,  and  fitted  for  their  labours,  by  gentle  clysters, 
which  must  bee  but  little  for  quantity  (not  past  six  ounces)  a  little 
warmed,  and  given  luke-warm,  the  which  must  bee  retained  as  long  as 
possibly  may  bee,  for  the  better  bringing  forth  of  the  common  excrements, 
which  might  obstruct  the  passage;  and  to  supple,  and  to  dilate  the  way, 
for  the  making  of  a  more  easy  delivery;  unles  nature  of  it  self  doth 
performe  this  work,  by  giving  of  a  loose  stoole,  or  two,  before  the 
approaching  labour.  In  which  case  clysters,  or  other  medicaments  may 
bee  forborne. 

And  let  the  midwife  (before  shee  commeth  to  her  pallet-bed,  or 
knees)  perswade  the  labouring  woman  to  make  water,  so  that  the  fulnes 
of  the  bladder  may  not  straiten  the  waves  of  delivery. 

And,  for  the  labouring  woman's  chamber,  let  it  bee  made  dark, 
having  a  glimmering  light,  or  candle-light  placed  partly  behind  the 
woman,  or  on  one  side,  and  a  moderate  warming  fire  in  it,  and  let  it  not 
bee  filled  with  much  company,  or  many  women;  five,  or  six  women 
assisting  will  bee  sufficient. 

And,  having  her  body  anointed  with  Balsamum  Hystericum,  let 
her  now  and  then  (if  shee  please)  walk  gently  in  her  chamber,  or  to  lie 
quietly  on  her  bed,  untill  Dame  nature  (Eve's  good  midwife)  shall  will 
her  to  lie  on  her  bed,  or  to  come  to  her  knees,  for  her  more  quick,  and 
easy  delivery. 

Every  Countryman  knoweth  (through  his  observations)  That  each 
fruit  (bee  it  apple,  peare,  or  plumb,  nut,  or  acorn)  that  when  it  is  full 
ripe,  that  it  will  drop  off  it  self  without  shaking  of  the  tree. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

But,  that  green,  immature  fruits  will  not  bee  soon  brought  down, 
but  that  the  shaking  violently  cloth  oft  break  the  branches. 

And  so  putting  women  to  labour  before  fitting  time,  together  with 
haling,  and  enforcing  their  bodies,  doth  no  good,  but  hurt,  and  hindereth 
their  delivery,  and  oft  ruinates  the  mother,  with  the  infant,  by  lacerations, 
and  the  forcible  struglings  of  the  midwife. 

And  I  would  have  no  medicines  given  to  force  throwes,  miles 
nature  faint,  and  that  towards  the  end  of  the  travaile. 

I  have  read  many  bookes,  with  all  the  late  writers  in  midwifery, 
and  I  do  perceive  that  they  all  keep,  and  follow  one  common  road,  taking 
their  severall  schemes,  or  figures,  with  the  explanations  of  them,  one 
from  another,  changing  nothing  from  the  dictates  of  their  foregoers. 

In  severall  of  these  schemes  various  things  may  bee  perceived, 
which  will  bee  troublesome  to  any  labouring  woman,  which  a  judicious 
practicer  well  observing  will  not  follow,  or  approve  necessary  to  be  usefull, 
for  that  they  will,  no  way,  comfort,  or  help  the  labouring  woman.  See 
the  schemes  in  what  I  have  varied  from  their  opinions. 

From  mine,  or  their  directions  let  midwives  chuse  the  best,  and 
facilest  wayes  for  the  relieving,  and  easing  their  women  in  affliction. 

And,  to  decide  all  various  disputes,  let  reason  bee  the  Juclg,  let 
opinion,  and  experience  argue  the  dubious  doubts,  and  wayes  of  practice 
in  midwifery,  and,  after  a  full  debate,  let  unspotted  truth  record  for 
succeeding  times,  what  is  most  fit  to  be  followed,  and  used. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


And  for  that  all  women  bee  delivered,  usually,  either  lying  on  a 
pallet-bed,  or  kneeling  upon  a  bolster ;  if  the  woman  bee  weak,  a  pallet- 
bed  may. bee  thought  the  most  convenient  place. 

But,  if  shee  bee  strong,  and  of  an  able  body,  and  the  child  lively, 
I  then  know  no  cause  contradicting,  why  shee  may  not  bee  as  well,  or, 
rather,  better  laid  kneeling  on  a  bolster,  then  lying  on  a  pallet-bed,  when 
that  her  body  is  fitted  for  the  birth ;  with  this  caution,  so  that  shee  will 
not  bee  overruled  by  the  midwife,  to  make  too  much  hast  to  come  unto 
her  knees  for  her  delivery. 

For,  in  so  doing,  the  ignorant  midwife  will  take  occasion  (least 
that  shee  should  bee  thought  to  bee  idle  in  her  calling)  by  too  much 
strugling,  or  haling,  to  make  the  birth  (which,  of  it  self,  would  bee  easy, 
and  quickly  laid)  to  become  difficult,  and  of  long  continuance,  and  very 
dolorous  to  the  woman. 

I  have  known  that  it  hath  proved  a  great  happines  to  some  poor 
women,  for  whose  delivery  the  midwife  did  not  make  too  sudden  hast, 
that  they  have  been  better,  and  easier  delivered  in  the  midwife's  absence, 
through  nature's  force,  then,  in  probability,  they  would  have  been  with 
her  assistance,  as  severall  of  my  observations  will  make  manifest. 

And  in  such  creatures,  as  desire  to  conceale  their  great  bellies, 
that  these  have  been  helped  better  without  midwives,  by  nature's  force, 
and  sooner  delivered,  then  honest,  good  women,  that  have  suffered  the 
struglings,  and  the  too  much  hasty  officiousnes  of  conceited  midwives. 

When  all  the  gates  bee  set  open  by  nature,  and  there  is  no 
obstructive  hinderance  left  in  the  way,  the  retentive  faculty  being 
weakened,  and  the  expulsive  made  strong;  then  nature  will  thrust  forth, 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

with  ease,  whatsoever  is  in  the  body  retained,  which  confirmeth  the 
sayings  of  good  Auctours,  That  the  longer  the  woman  retaineth,  and 
retardeth  the  birth,  the  easier,  and  more  succesfull  proveth  the  delivery. 

Therefore  I  have  adviced  some  women,  that  have  formerly  suffered 
much  bitternes,  and  pain  by  their  hasty  midwives  proceedings,  not  to  bee 
too  forward  to  thrust  themselves  into  their  midwives  hands,  and  not  to 
let  the  midwife  force  them  to  sit  on  her  stoole,  or  woman's  lap,  or  to 
come  to  their  knees,  nor  to  touch  them,  more  than  to  anoint  their  bodies, 
untill  the  waters  should  flow  of  themselves,  without  any  enforcement 
from  the  midwife ;  and  that,  with  their  owne  fingers,  they  could  touch 
the  child's  head ;  and  yet,  for  all  this  forwardnes  of  approaching  delivery, 
not  to  hasten  to  their  knees,  before  strong,  through  throwes  did  come 
upon  them,  to  force  forward  the  birth ;  assuring  them,  That  it  was  no 
part  of  the  midwife's  office  to  force  the  birth,  her  part  and  duty  was 
onely  to  receive  the  child. 

Many  women  have  given  mee  thanks  for  such  directions,  telling 
mee,  That,  in  observing  of  them,  they  had  found  much  ease,  with  a 
better  delivery,  then,  formerly,  they  have  had. 

In  a  naturall  birth,  the  labouring  woman,  kneeling  at  a  convenient 
and  fitting  time,  in  a  bending  posture,  holding  her  hands  about  another 
woman's  neck,  that  sitteth  afore  her,  having  a  pillow  laid  on  her  lap,  on 
which  the  labouring  woman,  resting  her  belly,  will  have  much  command 
of  her  self,  and  of  her  belly,  in  this  bending  posture;  and  more,  then  if 
shee  did  sit  on  a  woman's  lap,  or  on  the  midwife's  stoole ;  for  that  the 
birth  will  bee  pressed  somewhat  forward  by  the  pillow,  and  her  own 
thighes  ;  and,  through  this  bending  posture,  shee  will  bee  the  speedier. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


delivered,  leaving  the  midwife  nothing  more  to  do,  then  to  receive  the 

And  the  woman,  that  sitteth  afore  her,  on  whose  neck  shee  leaneth, 
may  much  ease  her,  by  putting  her  hands  under  the  woman's  amies,  the 
better  to  staj^,  and  bear  up  her  body,  as  shee  kneeleth. 

In  all  unnaturall  births,  comming  with  the  feet  forwards,  the 
woman  will  not  bee  so  well  delivered,  unles  shee  kneeleth  on  a  bolster, 
in  a  bending  posture,  during  the  time  of  her  delivery,  aud  the  midwife 
to  bee  placed  behind  the  woman,  to  help  the  woman,  by  gentle  drawing 
the  child  by  the  feet. 

In  all  births  (whether  natural,  or  unnatural)  where  there  is  need 
to  alter,  and  turn  the  birtii  to  another  posture,  the  woman  will  not 
conveniently  bee  delivered,  unles  shee  kneeleth  on  a  bolster,  and  have 
her  head  put  down  in  a  slope  descending  posture,  to  rest  on  a  pillow, 
placed  on  a  woman's  lap,  sitting  before  her  on  the  bed,  for  the  better 
returning  of  the  child  back  again  into  the  womb,  and  for  the  getting  of 
a  larger  passage,  to  find  out,  and  to  fetch  forth  the  feet  of  the  child,  the 
which  cannot  well  bee  don,  as  shee  lyeth  on  her  back,  overthvvart  the 
bed;  in  which  posture  shee  must  bee  kept,  untill  the  midwife  hath 
brought  forth  the  feet  of  the  infant,  and  hath  received  them  in  a  soft 
linen  cloth,  for  the  easier  holding,  and  drawing  forth  of  the  feet. 

Then  let  the  midwife  raise  up  the  labouring  woman's  head,  and 
keep  her  knees  in  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending,  with  her  hands 
holden  about  the  woman's  neck,  that  was  sitting  on  the  bed  afore  her. 

In  which  posture  let  the  midwife  keep  the  woman  kneeling,  untill 
shee  hath  drawn  the  child  forth  unto  the  loines,  then  (if  need  require) 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

sliee  must  turue  the  infant's  face  towards  the  back  of  the  woman,  and 
afterwards  draw  gently  again,  untill  the  infant  bee  brought  to  the 
shoulders,  or  to  the  neck. 

Then  the  midwife  must  slide  up  her  hands  between  the  woman's 
backbone,  and  the  child's  face,  and  put  her  middle  linger  a  little  way 
into  the  child's  mouth,  to  presse  down  the  chin  into  the  child's  throat, 
and  after  placing  her  other  two  fingers  on  each  side  of  the  child's  nose, 
so  draw  forth  the  child's  head,  gently,  and  leasurely ;  holding  by  the 
child's  body,  or  feet,  as  shee  draweth,  untill  sliee  hath  brought  it  forth. 

And  I  humbly  thank  God,  that  I  ever  found  this  way  good,  and 
easy  to  bee  performed  for  the  woman's  safety  in  the  delivery,  and  ever 
prosperous  for  the  saving  of  the  child's  life. 

In  false  conceptions,  and  small  abortments,  let  not  the  midwife 
trouble  the  woman  in  being  too  busy,  with  her  too  much  officiousnes,  to 
bring  it  away,  for  that  nature,  and  her  own  strength,  with  quiet  keeping, 
and  comfortable  warmnes,  will  soonest  free  her  of  these  sufferings,  by 
driving  them  forth,  without  any  other  enforcement  from  the  midwife's 

And  the  after-burden  will  ever  bee  better  found,  and  drawn  away 
as  the  woman  kneeleth,  then  it  can  bee  as  shee  lyeth  on  her  back  upon 
her  pallet-bed. 

And,  untill  I  am  convinced  of  any  mistake  in  this  way  of  delivery 
of  unnaturall  births  by  the  child's  feet,  let  all  practicers  in  midwifery 
suffer  mee,  without  feare,  to  maintain,  That  any  unnaturall  birth  may 
easier,  and  more  speedier  bee  laid  by  a  judicious,  and  well  practiced 
midwife,  comming  by  the  feet,  then  it  can  bee  by  turning  the  birth  to 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  head,  to  bee  delivered  in  a  naturall  posture.  The  striving  to  turn  the 
birth  will  increase  the  woman's  sorrows,  and  the  midwife's  enforcements 
will  multiply  her  afflictions,  by  endeavouring  to  turn  away  the  birth  from 
the  feet,  to  bring  it  by  the  head. 

I  affirme,  That  where  I  have  found  the  infant  to  have  had  a  great 
head,  and  a  larg  body,  that  there  I  have  turned  back  the  head,  and  have 
fetched  down  the  feet,  and  so  have  quickly  delivered  the  woman,  and  so 
have  saved  the  infant's  life. 

Whereas,  otherwise,  both  mother  and  child,  after  a  long  suffering 
labour,  in  all  probability,  would  have  perished  together. 

For  by  the  head,  as  the  infant  slideth,  or  commeth  to  the  birth,  an 
understanding  midwife  knoweth,  that  with  patience  shee  must  wait,  and 
stay  nature's  time,  and  that  all  this  while  that  shee  cannot  take  off  the 
sharp  throwes,  and  pangs  of  labor,  the  which  the  woman  will  suffer. 

And  it  will  bee  an  happines  to  the  labouring  woman,  if,  in  the 
interim  of  time,  to  these  paines  an  hasty  midwife  doth  not  adde  severall 
afflictions,  through  her  too  much  strivings  to  procure  a  more  speedy 

When  the  infant  commeth  unnaturally  any  way,  and  more  par- 
ticularly by  the  arm,  back,  or  belly,  or  with  a  distorted  neck,  there  the 
midwife,  having  altered  the  birth,  may  soon  deliver  the  woman  by  the 
child's  feet,  as  shee  kneeleth,  by  gentle,  and  easy  drawing  it  downwards, 
(as  it  hath  been  oft  made  manifest  by  my  practice)  although  shee  bee 
not  in  pain,  and  have  not  throws  to  force,  or  drive  forth  the  infant. 

And  this  way  of  practice  in  all  difficult  births  to  deliver  women 
by  the  child's  feet,  I  shall  wish  all  midwives  to  follow,  untill  it  shall  bee 
disallowed  by  manifest  reasons,  and  daily  practice. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Humanum  est  errare  I  may  bee  deceived,  but  I  suppose  that  I 
have  not  wandered  from  the  truth,  and  that  I  have  taken  the  direct,  and 
readiest  way  for  the  delivery  of  women,  having  had  two  judicious 
Associates  to  accompany  mee  in  these  travailes  (long  practice,  and 
confirmed  experience)  both  which  have  been  followed  with  good  successe, 
and  found  approved  true  in  the  labouring  woman's  chamber,  and  seen 
by  mee  experimentally  performed  by  severall  midwives,  and  women  there 

I  will  willingly  give  thanks  to  any  one,  that  will  shew  mee  my 
mistakes,  or  that  would  take  some  pains  to  set  forth  a  more  eas}7,  and 
safer  passage  for  the  birth  of  children,  and  for  the  woman's  good,  and 
safety,  in  dulcifying  the  terrours,  and  sufferings  of  delivery,  too  oft  made 
dolorous,  and  sometime  destructive,  by  the  unadvised  doings  of  ignorant 



The  schemes,  and  figures  of  the  birth,  with  their  various  postures. 

In  a  naturall  birth,  when  the  infant's  head  shall  proceed  first,  with 
the  rest  of  the  body  in  a  due  order,  and  where  the  mother  is  strong,  and 
the  child  lively,  and  the  woman  fittingly  prepared,  and  ordered  for  her 
bed,  or  knees,  with  the  anointing  of  the  passages  belonging  to  the  birth, 
and  keeping  her  body  warm; 

There  let  not  the  midwife  use  any  enforcing  to  bring  forth  the 
child,  but  commit  all  the  ensuing  work  to  God's  mercy,  and  time,  for 
the  bringing  forth  of  the  birth,  and  hee  will  assist  nature  (whose  onely 
wrork  it  is)  for  the  bringing  forth  of  the  infant. 

After  the  head  is  born,  if  the  child,  through  the  greatnes  of  the 
shoulders,  should  stick  at  the  neck,  let  the  midwife  put  her  finger  under 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


the  child's  armpit,  and  give  it  a  nudg,  thrusting  it  to  the  other  side  with 
her  finger,  drawing  the  child,  or  may  quickly  bring  forth  the 
shoulders,  without  offering  to  put  it  forth  by  her  hands  clasped  about 
the  neck,  which  might  endanger  the  breaking  of  the  neck. 

In  this  birth  the  midwife's  office,  or  duty  is  no  more,  but  to  attend 
patiently  on  nature's  wayes,  and  to  bee  ready  to  receive  the  child,  and 
afterwards  to  help  (if  need  require)  to  draw  forth  the  after-burden,  and 
to  see  that  the  mother,  and  the  child  have  fitting  accommodations. 

Where  the  head  and  body  of  the  child,  in  a  naturall  birth,  bee  too 
great  for  the  passage,  and  when  anointing  with  unguents,  or  oiles,  and 
sneezing  with  powders,  and  the  woman's  endeavours,  and  enforcements 
afford  no  help,  then  the  midwife  must  turn  back  the  head,  and  bring  the 
birth  to  the  feet,  as  shee  kneeleth  in  a  slope,  descending  posture ;  and 
by  the  feet  let  the  midwife  produce  the  infant,  as  the  labouring  woman 
kneeleth  on  the  bolster,  and  having  turned  the  birth,  let  her  then  raise 
the  woman's  head  unto  a  slope,  ascending  posture,  and  then  afterwards 
to  draw  the  child  forth  by  the  feet. 

Let  the  midwife  oft  anoint  the  woman's  body  with  convenient 
oiles,  or  ointments,  to  cause  a  more  easy  sliding  of  the  child,  that  the 
woman's  sufferings  may  bee  the  sooner  ended. 

Sometimes  the  child  comes  naturally  with  the  head  formost,  but 
the  head  is  placed  amisse,  having  the  neck  bowed,  and  it  stands  awry, 
leaning  towards  the  flanks,  or  otherwise,  which  makes  that  the  child 
cannot  come  forth  in?  a  straight,  and  direct  line. 

The  child  being  thus  turned,  it  is  very  hard,  yea  even  impossible, 
that  the  mother  should  bee  delivered,  either  through  any  endeavours  of 
the  child,  or  by  any  labour  of  the  woman's  enforcings,  although  shee 

Head  and 

body  (oo 



A  crooked 





Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

strive,  and  strain  her  self  very  much,  by  holding  in  her  breath,  or  by 
usiug  any  other  waves;  for  the  more  the  child  strives  to  come  forth,  the 
more  hee  entangles,  and  wreaths  his  neck,  and,  by  this  strugling,  hee 
makes  himself,  and  his  mother  weak,  through  the  paines,  they  both 

And  this  birth  will  not  bee  well  helped  any  other  way,  but  by 
turning  the  birth  unto  the  feet,  and  with  using  the  slope,  bending  posture, 
descending,  wildest  that  the  woman  kneeleth  on  the  bolster. 

Guillimeau  willeth,  That  the  woman  bee  laid  overthwart  a  bed,  for 
the  better  convenience  of  the  chirurgion,  or  midwife,  and  to  have  a 
bolster  put  under  her  head,  her  back  being  a  little  raised,  and  her  hips 
lifted  up  somewhat  higher,  with  pillows  laid  under  them,  and  her  hinder 
parts  to  lie  within  half  a  foot  of  the  bed's  side ;  and  then  the  chirurgion, 
with  his  anointed  fingers,  must  thrust  upwards  the  body  of  the  child, 
either  by  the  shoulders,  or  breast,  or  by  the  back,  so  that,  by  these 
meanes^,  the  neck  of  the  child  will  even  come  of  it  self  to  the  right 

And,  for  the  better  help  of  the  chirurgion,  at  the  same  instant  hee 
shall  slide  in  his  other  hand  (yet  not  taking  out  the  former)  where  with 
finding  the  place  where  the  head  doth  rest,  and  leane,  hee  may  easily 
draw  his  hand  towards  the  side  of  the  child's  head,  and  so  shall  hee 
bring  it  gently  to  the  naturall  place,  and,  by  these  meanes,  the  child's 
head  will  rest  between  his  hands,  to  bee  set  right. 

Our  late  Auctours  follow  Guillimeau' s  directions,  to  thrust  up  the 
shoulders  of  the  infant,  that  the  head  may  fall  down  to  the  orifice  of  the 
womb,  as  being  nearest  to  it.  And  hee  saith,  That,  if  there  bee  any 
other  way  attempted,  shee  must  bee  brought  back  to  the  bed,  and  rolled, 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


and  so  stirred,  untill  the  infant  shall  come  to  a  more  commodious  forme 
of  birth. 

This  rocking,  and  rolling  the  woman  on  the  bed,  is  the  lest 
affliction,  that  the  midwife  putteth  the  woman  unto.  It  may  casually 
alter  the  birth,  but  I  beleeve,  that  it  seldome,  or  never  doth  it. 

As  for  the  placing  of  the  woman  on  a  bed,  according  to 
Guillimeau's  direction,  I  know  that  it  will  bee  terrible  to  the  woman,  to 
bee  held  with  violence,  wildest  that  the  chimrgion  operateth. 

Also,  I  conceive  this  bed  to  bee  useles  for  the  chirurgion's  conve- 
nience, for  hee  cannot  reach  the  woman's  body  at  so  remote  a  distance, 
shee  lying  half  a  foot  from  the  bed's  side. 

Furthermore,  hee  cannot,  as  shee  lyeth,  well  put  back  the  child, 
for  that  the  work  will  lie  under  his  hand,  and  the  child  will  rather  come 
upon  him,  than  fall  from  his  hands. 

And  lastly,  to  have  both  the  hands  of  the  chirurgion,  at  the  same 
time,  in  the  woman's  body,  to  receive  the  child's  head  between  his 
hands,  to  set  it  right,  must  needs  mightily  extend,  and  enlarg  the 
woman's  body,  and  how  this  will  fefe  done,  without  great  stretching,  and 
tearing  those  places,  I  cannot  well  imagine. 

I  conceive,  in  this  delivery,  that  it  will  bee  a  better  way,  and  with 
more  ease  by  the  midwife  to  bee  performed,  to  have  the  woman  to 
kneele  on  an  high,  hard  bolster,  and  to  put  the  woman's  head  down  in 
a  slope,  descending  posture  unto  a  pillow  laid  in  a  woman's  lap,  sitting 
afore  her;  afterward,  to  slide  up  her  anointed  hand  into  the  woman's 
body,  and  to  fetch  forth  the  child's  feet,  and  so  to  lay  her,  by  drawing 
by  the  feet,  as  it  hath  often  been  expressed,  in  diverse  of  my  observa- 
tions, seen  by  mee  performed. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

When  the  midwife  hath  gently  drawn  the  child  by  the  feet  unio 
the  knees,  then  to  raise  up  the  woman's  head,  and  let  the  labouring 
woman  he  placed  forthwith  in  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending,  and 
let  her  hold  the  woman  with  her  hands  about  the  neck,  that  was  sitting 
afore  her.  So  will  the  midwife  more  easily  draw  forth  the  rest  of  the 
infant's  body  without  strugling,  or  enforcement,  not  any  way  hurting, 
or  tearing  the  woman. 

I  know,  that  this  way  will  prove  more  easy  for  the  woman's 
delivery,  and  better  to  bee  performed  by  the  chirurgion,  or  midwife,  to 
find  the  child's  feet  as  shee  kneeleth,  and,  by  them,  to  bring  the  birth 
forwards,  than  to  strive  to  put  back  the  birth,  by  the  shoulders,  or 
breast,  to  place  the  head  in  a  right  posture,  to  receive  it  between  the 
hands  for  a  naturall  birth. 

In  all  births,  laid  by  the  feet,  the  child's  face  must  ever  bee  turned 
to  the  back  of  the  woman.  Otherwise,  the  child's  chin  will  bee  endan- 
gered to  bee  catched  by  the  share-bone,  and  then  it  will  be  a  difficult 
busines  to  fetch  off  the  head,  and  to  save  the  child's  life. 

How  to  turne  the  child's  face  to  the  back  of  the  woman,  and  when 
to  do  it,  as  also  how,  with  safety,  the  child's  head  will  bee  brought  forth, 
the  following  unnaturall  birth  will  make  manifest. 

In  all  births,  after  the  infant  is  bora,  let  the  midwife  shake  the 
after-birth  from  side  to  side,  gently  holding  by  the  navel-string,  after- 
wards, to  put  up  her  anointed  hand,  and  to  gather  the  after  birth  into 
her  hand,  and  to  hold  it  easily,  without  squeezing,  then  let  her  cause  the 
woman  to  cough,  boken,  or  sneeze,  and  this  motion,  with  easy  drawing, 
will  drive  forth  hand,  and  after-birth  together. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Feet  with 
the  hands 
ed down- 
wards by 
the  sides. 


When  the  infant  commeth  to  the  birth  with  both  his  feet  forward, 
and  his  hands  stretched  downward,  lying  by  his  sides;  do  not  disquiet 
the  woman,  by  drawing  up  the  child's  legs,  to  bring  downe  the  child's 
head,  in  hopes  of  a  naturall  birth,  neither  take  care  to  secure  the  infant's 
armes,  that  it  may  not  have  power  to  draw  them  back  againe. 

But,  in  this  birth,  let  the  midwife  place  the  woman,  kneeling  on  a 
bolster,  in  a  convenient,  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending. 

And  let  the  labouring  woman  hold  her  hands  about  another 
woman's  neck,  sitting  afore  her. 

And,  having  her  body  anointed  with  fitting  oiles,  or  unguents,  to 
cause  a  more  easy  sliding  of  the  child,  let  the  midwife  place  herself  be- 
hind the  woman,  and  take  the  child's  feet  in  a  warm,  soft,  linen  cloth; 
let  her  draw  leasurely  by  the  feet,  untill  it  come  to  the  loines.  And,  in 
the  drawing,  if  that  the  midwife  perceive,  that  the  child's  face  is  not 
towards  the  woman's  back,  after  that  the  child  is  brought  forth  to  the 
loines,  there  let  the  midwife  take  the  body  of  the  child,  and  wrap  it  in  a 
soft,  linen  cloth,  and,  holding  it  easily  between  her  hands,  let  her  gently 
turn  the  body,  and  set  the  child's  face  against  the  woman's  back. 

The  child's  body,  thus  held,  will  easily  bee  turned,  without  any 
let,  or  trouble  to  the  woman,  or  danger  to  the  child. 

After  this,  let  the  midwife  draw  again  leasurely,  untill  the  child 
shall  come  to  the  upper  part  of  the  shoulders,  or  to  the  neck. 

Then,  let  the  midwife  slide  up  her  anointed  hand  between  the 
child's  face,  and  the  rump-bone  of  the  mother's  back,  and  put  her  middle 
finger  a  little  way  into  the  child's  mouth,  to  presse  the  child's  chin 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Upon  the 
belly,  or 

against  the 



See  this 

Auct.  obs. 
pag.  92. 

and  some 
part  of 

the   hand 

above  the 

head.    ib. 

Feet  with 
the  hands 
lifted  up 
above  the 

downward  to  the  pit  of  the  child's  throat,  and,  afterward,  to  place  her 
two  ringers  on  each  side  of  the  nose,  and  so  shee  will  keep  the  neck  of 
the  womb  open  from  closing  about  the  child's  neck,  and  free  the  infant 
from  die  danger  of  being  throtled,  or  strangled. 

After  this,  then,  let  the  midwife  desire  some  assisting  woman  to 
place  a  flat  hand  upon  the  child's  head,  and  gently  to  presse  forward  the 
departing  infant,  at  that  time,  when  the  midwife  draweth  leasurely  by 
the  child's  feet,  or  some  other  woman  for  her. 

Thus,  with  the  assisting  woman's  help,  the  labouring  woman  will 
quickly  bee  delivered  of  this  unnaturall  birth,  and  the  child  safely  born, 
without  the  pulling  off  the  head,  or  breaking  the  child's  neck,  or  any 
way  endangering  the  child's  life. 

When  the  infant  commeth  with  his  feet  forward,  and  the  hands 
lifted  up  above  the  head ; 

Let  not  the  midwife  thrust  back  the  infant's  feet  into  the  womb, 
in  hopes  to  turn  it,  and  to  bring  it  to  a  naturall  birth  by  the  head : 

But,  as  afore  directed,  and  in  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending, 
to  deliver  the  woman  by  the  child's  feet,  without  striving  to  bring  down 
an  arm  or  armes. 

But  if,  to  no  purpose,  the  midwife  hath  a  desire  to  bring  down  the 
arm,  or  armes,  shee  may  easily  do  it,  by  putting  up  her  fingers  above  the 
child's  shoulder,  and  drawing  the  arme  by  it. 

The  child's  armes  bee  apt,  of  themselves,  to  come  down,  without 
enforcement,  before  that  the  child's  body  is  brought  to  the  shoulders,  or 

Peicivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


But  Pareus  counselleth,  when  that  the  child  commeth  by  the  feet, 
to  keep  up  an  arm,  saying,  That  one  of  his  armes  must  bee  stretched  out 
above  his  head,  and  the  other  down  by  his  side.  For,  otherwise,  the 
orifice  of  the  womb,  when  it  were  delivered  of  such  a  grosse  trunk  (as 
it  would  bee,  when  his  body  should  be  drawn  out  with  his  armes  along 
by  his  sides)  would  so  shrink,  and  draw  it  self  together,  when  the  body 
should  come  unto  the  neck  (onely  by  the  accord  of  nature  requiring 
union)  that  it  would  strangle,  and  kill  the  child. 

Guillimeau,  the  French  King's  chirurgion,  saith,  If  both  the 
armes  bee  stretched  out  above  the  head,  you  shall  bring  down  one  of 
them  close  to  the  side,  and  let  the  other  stay  stretched  out,  that,  when 
the  shoulders  are  come  forth,  the  said  arm  may  bee  (as  it  were)  a  stay, 
or  splint  to  the  neck,  for  the  passage  of  the  head,  to  hinder  the  neck  of 
the  womb  from  closing  up,  and  fastening  about  the  neck  of  the  child, 
and  to  hinder  the  child  from  comminff  forth  : 

For  the  arm,  or  armes,  being  lifted  up  over  the  child's  head,  will 
keep  the  womb  from  closing  about  the  neck  of  the  child ;  whereby  the 
infant  will  bee  secured  from  the  danger  of  strangling,  and  the  neck  from 
being  broken,  and  the  head  from  being  separated  from  the  shoulders. 

The  finger,  put  into  the  child's  mouth,  with  the  rest  of  the 
directions,  followed,  will  also  withstand  all  these  dangers,  and  casualties, 
and  will  help  to  save  the  infant's  life. 

When  the  infant  commeth  forth  with  one  foot  onely,  and  the 
armes  let  down  to  the  sides,  and  the  other  foot  turned  backward, 

In  this  birth,  you  need  not  to  bring  the  woman  to  her  bed,  to 
tumble  thereon  (unles  it  bee  to  ease  herself)  before  shee  bee  willing  to 

One  foot 

the  armes 

letdown  to 

the  sides. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

come  to  bee  delivered;  And,  having  placed  the  woman  kneeling  in  a 
slope,  bending  posture,  ascending,  I  would  not  have  you  to  offer  to  turn 
up  the  foot,  that  is  come  forth,  into  the  womb  again ;  but  to  take  the 
foot  in  a  soft,  warm,  linen  cloth,  and  by  that  foot  to  draw  gently,  and 
leasurely,  untill  the  body  of  the  child  commeth  nigh  unto  the  twist;  or 
buttock ;  and  then  (if  not  afore)  you  shall  perceive  where  the  other  foot 
stayeth,  the  which  you  may  easily  draw  down,  or  remove  with  your  finger, 
and  afterward,  quickly  lay  her  by  the  feet,  observing,  and  following  the 
directions  of  the  first  unnaturall  figure,  &c. ' 

Side  or 



In  this  birth  you  will  do  no  good  by  rolling  the  woman  on  the 
bed,  or  by  strugling  to  turn  the  child  up,  to  bring  it  to  a  naturall  birth, 
by  your  hand. 

A_nd  why  should  an  ignorant  midwife,  by  unadvised  wayes,  disquiet, 
and  long  torment,  to  no  purpose,  her  afflicted  woman  :  and  to  make  a 
worse  birth,  when  that,  without  struglings,  shee  might  well  deliver 
her  woman  by  the  child's  feet  (as  hath  been  directed)  in  very  short  space 
of  time. 

"When  the  infant  lyeth  crosse  the  womb,  on  it's  side,  or  back,  with 
the  hands  and  feet  upwards ;  in  this  posture  it  is  not  possible  that  the 
child  should  bee  born. 

Disquiet  not  the  labouring  woman  with  struglings,  to  bring  it  to 
a  true  form,  or  naturall  birth,  by  lifting  up  the  buttocks,  and  directing 
the  head  to  the  birth,  or  by  rolling  herself  upon  the  bed. 

But,  by  the  feet  (as  hath  beeue  directed)  in  a  slope,  bending 
posture,  ascending,  deliver  the  woman. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


"For  the  putting  of  the  woman  to  roll  on  the  bed  doth,  not  help 
the  delivery.  It  is  no  better  then  a  demurrer,  or  a  shrouding  cloak,  to 
cover  the  midwife's  ignorance. 

Tor  the  infant  to  hasten  to  the  birth  with  the  armes  and  legs 
distorted,  and  crooked,  I  hold  this  birth  to  bee  a  supposed  imagination, 
and  that  there  never  was  seen,  or  known  any  such  birth,  or  comming 
of  a  child  in  this  dancing  posture. 

Yet,  if  midwives  will  have  their  wills,  and  that  there  may  bee  such 
a  birth,  the  same  will  soon  bee  laid  by  the  child's  feet. 

If  the  infant  shall  fall  down  with  both  the  knees  bent,  and  the 
hands  hanging  down  to  the  thighes,  or  sides,  do  not  strive  to  force  the 
knees  upwards,  untill  the  feet  happen  to  come  forth  formost. 

Neither  bee  persuaded,  that  rolling  on  the  bed  will  bring  the 
infant  to  a  more  commodious  posture. 

As  the  woman  kneeleth,  in  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending, 
by  your  fingers  you  may  easily  bring  down  the  legs,  and  so,  by  the  feet 
of  the  child,  the  woman  may  quickly  bee  delivered. 

The  child  should  come  into  the  world  with  his  head  forward,  and, 
if  there  bee  any  thing,  that  comes  with  it,  as  the  hands,  and  arme,  it  is 
contrary  to  nature. 

This  is  the  birth,  which  most  amazeth,  and  puzleth  midwives, 
and  bringeth  into  their  thoughts  unhandsome  performances,  so  that, 
without  all  tender  compassion,  after  they  have  much  afflicted  the  woman, 
and  have  destroyed  the  child,  they  become  bold,  with  forcible  halings,  to 
pull  off  the  armes,  and  shoulders  of  children  into  severall  pieces  in  the 
mother's  womb,  to  bring  forth  the  body,  thus  killing  the  child,  and,  oft, 
the  mother  with  it. 

Arms  and 





or  Arm. 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And,  if  the  mother  escapeth  with  life,  yet,  frequently,  shee  liveth 
miserably,  and  sadly,  all  the  succedent  time  of  her  life. 

Mrs.  Jane  Sharp,  midwife  of  thirty  yeares  apprenticeship,  willeth 
the  midwife  to  anoint  her  hand,  and  to  thrust  it  up  into  the  womb,  to 
feel  how  the  child  lyeth,  saying,  That,  sometimes,  the  child  may  bee 
drawn  out  with  the  hand,  and,  had  shee  said  no  more,  shee  had  well 
deserved  of  all  labouring  women. 

But,  to  shew  midwives,  how  (though  in  dead  children)  to  pull 
out  armes,  and  to  cut  them  off,  as  also,  how  to  use,  unhandsomely, 
hookes,  and  incision  knives,  to  cut  children  in  pieces  in  the  mother's 
body,  to  bring  forth  the  child  divided  in  many  parcels,  is  an  horrid  work. 
In  charity  I  beleeve,  that  shee  never  used  this  way  of  practice. 

Some  of  our  country  midwives  (although  long  practicers  in  mid- 
wifery) to  save  their  credits,  and  for  that  they  would  not  bee  thought 
inferiour,  in  knowledg,  to  others,  by  reading  such  books,  and  expressions, 
bee  encouraged  to  follow  this  way  of  cruelty,  in  this  unnaturall  birth, 
comming  by  the  Arme. 

I  will  omit  to  make  mention  of  the  evil  facts,  they  have,  lately, 
done  in  eeverall  places. 

I  wish,  with  all  my  soule,  that  no  country  woman  should  have 
this  birth,  comming  by  the  arme,  or  have  occasion  to  desire  the  help  of 
such  midwives,  as  to  have  themselves  abused,  and  their  children  so 

To  amend  this  unfitting  way  of  practice,  in  the  first  place,  I  shall 
mention,  what  some  men  have  lately  published. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Secondly,  what  others,  long  since,  have  done,  after  that  they  have 
found  the  children  destroyed  by  mid  wives. 

And,  lastly,  I  shall  set  forth  my  way  of  practice  in  this  unnaturall 
birth,  with  which,  through  God's  great  mercy,  and  assistance,  I  have 
oft  eased,  and  helped  severall  women  (after  long  suffering  under  midwives 
hands)  in  less  a  time,  then  half  a  quarter  of  an  houre,  to  the  great  wonder- 
ing of  midwives,  and  other  women  in  the  labouring  woman's  chamber, 
and  have  saved  the  children's  lives. 

Dr.  Philadelphus  demands  of  Mrs.  Eutrapelia,  what,  if  the  infant 
commeth  out  hastily,  with  one  hand,  and  the  other  hand  down  toward 
the  side,  and  the  feet  stretched  out  straight  into  the  womb,  how  will  you 
receive  the  infant  ? 

The  midwife  answereth,  Sr,  I  am  not  at  all  to  receive  it  so,  nor 
to  suffer  it  to  proceed  farther,  but  must  bring  her  to  the  bed,  where  shee 
must  lie  lower  with  her  head,  then  her  buttocks.  Then,  I  must  swath 
her  belly  gently,  that  the  infant  may  fall  back  again  into  the  womb. 

But,  if  it  fall  not  back  of  its  own  accord,  I  must  put  in  my  hand, 
and  presse  back  the  shoulders,  and  must  reduce  the  arme,  that  hangeth 
out,  to  the  side,  that  it  may  bee  disposed  of  to  a  naturall  forme  in  the 
womb,  and  so  it  may  come  forth  easily.  So  saith  James  Wolueridge, 
M.D.,  in  his  book,  fol.  53. 

Dr.  William  Sermon  willeth,  when  the  child  proceedeth  headlong, 
with  one  of  his  armes  first,  not  to  suffer  the  birth  to  proceed  farther. 
But  let  the  midwife  put  in  her  hand,  and,  gently,  by  the  shoulders  put 
up  the  child  again.  So  the  hand  thereof  may  bee  setled  in  the  right 
place,  by  which  meanes  the  child  may  come  naturally. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

But,  if  the  hand  thereof  cannot  bee  brought  again  to  the  right 
place,  then,  causing  the  woman  to  lie  upright,  with  her  thighes,  and  belly 
upward,  by  which  meanes  it  may  bee  brought  to  passe.     Fol.  130. 

I  could  wish  that  these  wayes,  thus  expressed  by  these  worthies, 
might  prove  effectuall,  and  have  an  happy  successe,  the  which,  as  yet,  I 
could  not,  at  any  time,  see  to  bee  performed. 

But  my  practice  hath  shewed  mee,  That,  in  severall  of  these  births, 
through  the  midwives  struglings  to  reduce  the  arme,  that  the  arm  hath 
been  broken  by  them,  and  the  child  destroyed,  and  although,  through 
much  enforcement,  they  have  reduced  the  arme,  yet,  through  the 
woman's  sufferings,  aud  the  midwife's  strivings,  the  labouring  woman 
hath  been  left  so  weak,  that  shee  could  not  bee  delivered  by  the  midwife. 

And,  to  give  my  opinion,  it  is  to  no  purpose  to  reduce  the  arme, 
as,  by  my  observations,  and  practice,  it  may  sufficiently  bee  proved. 

James  Guillimeau  saith,  It  may  so  happen,  that  the  child's  arme 
comming  formost,  through  the  long  stay  it  makes  without,  as  also, 
because  it  hath  been  pulled,  by  violence,  by  the  midwife,  will  bee  swollen, 
yea  and  even  gangren'd,  that  it  possibly  cannot  bee  thrust  back  again, 
that  the  child  may  bee  drawn  forth  by  the  feet.  That  then  the  arme 
must  bee  pulled  as  far  forth  as  it  can,  and,  if  it  may  bee  done 
conveniently,  let  it  bee  cut  off  at  the  joint  of  the  shoulder. 

But  let  not  our  midwives  attempt  any  such  thing,  so  long  as 
there  is  any  thought,  that  the  child  is  alive. 

Pareus  reporteth,  That  once  hee  was  called  to  the  birth  of  an 
infant,  whom  the  midwives  had  essaied  to  draw  out  by  the  arme,  so 
that  the  arme  had  been  so  long  forth,  that  it  was  gangren'd,  whereby 
the  child  died. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Hee  told  the  midwives,  that  this  arrne  must  bee  put  in  again,  and 
that  the  child  must  bee  turned  otherwise.  But  when  it  could  not  bee 
put  back,  by  reason  of  the  great  swellings  thereof;  and  also  of  the 
mother's  genitals,  that  hee  did  cut  off  the  arme,  which  being  done,  hee 
turned  him  with  his  feet  forward,  and  so  drew  him  out  by  the  feet. 

By  these  men's  sayings  it  doth  appear,  that  they  were  not  willing 
to  cut  off  the  armes  of  children,  although  the  children  were  dead,  if 
possibly  they  could  bee  reduced. 

But,  if  midlives  will  bee  pleased  to  bee  better  adviced  to  save 
their  credits,  I  will,  then,  shew  them  how,  in  this  birth,  with  much  ease, 
and  safety,  they  may  speedily  deliver  their  women,  without  tormenting 
them,  by  struglings  to  reduce  the  arme. 

And  I  shall  desire  all  miclwives,  not  to  pull  any  child  by  the  arme, 
in  hopes  so  to  deliver  the  woman,  and  to  hate  the  cutting  off  the  arme, 
or  quartering  their  limbs,  to  draw  them  forth  piece- meale  out  of  their 
mothers  bodies. 

I  have  known  the  arm  of  the  child  so  fixed  in  the  neck  of  the 
womb,  by  the  midwife's  pulling,  that  the  arme  hath  been  immoveable, 
and  hath  hindered  the  child's  body  for  turning  round,  and  the  child's 
arme  for  returning,  to  go  up  into  the  woman's  body. 

But  this  let  hath  been  soon  removed,  by  taking  the  child's  elbow 
in  my  hand,  and,  by  thrusting  it  a  little  upward,  it  hath  removed  the 
sticking  of  the  shoulder,  and  hath  made  way  for  the  turning  round  of 
the  body,  and  for  the  easy  going  up  of  the  child's  arme. 

When,  therefore,  the  infant  shall  come  to  the  birth,  with  one  hand 
appearing,  let  not  the  midwife  receive  this  birth,  nor  disquiet  the  woman, 
with  rolling  her  on  the  bed,  nor  bee  too  hasty  suddenly  to  procure  the 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

delivery ;  neither  would  I  have  the  midwife  to  offer  to  thrust  back  the 
arme,  to  place  it  by  the  infant's  side,  in  hopes  to' bring  it  to  a  naturall 

But,  in  this  birth,  after  the  anointing  of  the  woman's  body  with 
convenient  oiles,  or  ointments,  let  the  midwife  bring  the  labouring 
woman,  and  cause  her  to  kneele  on  a  hard  bolster,  placed  on  a  bed's 
side,  and,  afterward,  to  put  down  her  head  in  a  slope,  bending  posture, 
descending,  to  a  pillow,  placed  on  a  woman's  lap  sitting  afore  her  on 
the  same  bed  to  support  her. 

So  her  body  will  bee  raised  up,  to  give  way  for  the  descending  of 
the  infant  into  the  hollownes  of  her  body,  as  shee  kneeleth  in  a  slope, 
bending  posture,  descending. 

And  the  midwife,  comming  behind  the  woman,  as  shee  kneeleth, 
let  her  not  offer  to  reduce  the  arme,  for  the  bringing  of  it  to  the  child' s 
side;  but  to  slide  up  her  anointed  hand  over  the  child's  arme,  as  it 
hangeth  out  of  the  woman's  body,  putting  up  still  her  anointed  hand, 
by  degrees,  untill  shee  commeth  to  the  child's  feet,  which  usually  lie  on 
the  child's  belly,  and  not  stretched  out  into  the  womb,  as  some  affirme. 

And,  although,  in  my  observations,  I  have  given  the  midwife 
some  light,  to  know  whither  her  hand  passeth,  and  unto  what  parts  of 
the  infant's  body,  it  commeth  in  these  obscure  parts,  for  that  shee  may 
distinguish  the  better  of  the  parts  of  the  infant's  body  by  her  feeling,  as 
the  thigh  and  foot  from  the  arme,  and  hand ;  the  back  from  the  belly, 

Shee  shall  find  the  back  to  bee  hard,  and  to  have  a  ridg  in  it, 
The  belly  to  bee  soft,  and  smooth, 

The  arme  to  bee  small,  and  the  hand  little,  composed  of  severall 
long  fingers,  and  bending  joints ; 

Peicivall  Willughbv,  Gentleman. 


The  thigh  and  leg  to  bee  grosse,  and  thick,  in  respect  of  the  arme, 
and  the  foot  to  bee  a  hard,  united,  grosse,  thick  lump,  having  shoit  toes. 

Wow  when  her  hand  is  put  up  into  the  woman's  body,  if  it  light 
upon  the  child's  back,  let  her  not  pull  forth  her  hand  again  out  of  the 
woman's  bod}r,  but  turn  it  round  by  the  child's  side,  and  it  will  bring 
her  hand  to  the  childs  belly,  where  shee  shall  find  the  other  hand,  and 
both  the  child's  feet,  lying  together. 

And,  having  found  a  foot,  let  her  take  hold  of  it  between  her  fore 
finger,  and  her  middle  finger,  placing  her  thumb  over  her  hand  griped, 
the  better  to  hold  it. 

Let  her,  then,  draw  gently,  and  leasurely  by  the  foot,  untill  shee 
hath  brought  the  foot  forth  of  the  woman's  body,  then  let  her  take  the 
foot  in  a  soft,  warm,  linen  cloth,  (the  firmer  to  hold  it)  and,  afterward, 
still  to  continue  drawing,  untill  it  come  nigh  to  the  twist  of  the  body, 
or  that  the  buttocks  begin  to  appeare  (if  that  the  other  leg  doth  not 
shew  it  self  before  where  it  resteth) 

And,  if  it  so  happen,  that  the  midwife  should  find  the  other  leg 
bended  at  the  knee,  or  that  it  should  lie  on  the  child's  belly,  let  her 
draw  it  gently  down  with  her  finger,  and  it  will  soon  bee  brought  forth 
with  easy  drawing,  and  without  any  enforcement. 

And  then  (and  not  afore)  to  raise  up  the  woman's  head,  and  to 
place  the  woman  kneeling  in  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending, 
holding,  or  leaning  with  her  hands  about  the  woman's  neck,  that  doth 
sit  before  her. 

And,  in  this  bending  posture,  let  the  midwife  keep  the  woman 
kneeling,  untill  shee  hath  drawn  the  child  forth  unto  the  loines. 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Then,  if  sliee  shall  find  the  child's  face  to  bee  towards  the  woman's 
navel,  and  belly,  let  her  take  the  body  of  the  child,  and,  holding  it  in  a 
soft,  linen  cloth,  let  the  midwife  turne  the  infant's  face,  gently,  toward 
the  back  of  the  woman. 

Afterward,  to  draw  easily  again,  untill  the  infant  shall  bee  brought 
to  the  shoulders,  or  to  the  neck. 

Then  the  midwife  must  put  up  her  hand  between  the  child's  face, 
and  the  rump-bone  of  the  mother's  back,  and  put  her  middle  finger,  a 
little  way,  into  the  child's  month,  to  presse  the  chin  downward  to  the 
pit  of  the  child's  throat,  and  to  place  her  other  two  fingers  on  each  side 
of  the  nose,  to  keep  open  the  passage. 

Then  may  the  midwife,  having  thus  placed  her  fingers,  desire  some 
assisting  woman  to  place  a  flat  hand  upon  the  child's  head,  and  gently 
to  presse  forward  the  departing  infant,  at  that  time,  when  shee  draweth 
leasurely  by  the  feet,  or  some  other  woman  for  her,  and  so  the  child  will 
quickly  bee  born. 

And,  thus  ordering  the  birth,  there  will  be  no  cause  to  fear  the 
child's  life,  or  the  ruinating  of  the  labouring  woman's  body. 

And  the  way  of  a  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending  is  to  bee  used 
in  all  births,  .comming  by  the  feet,  as  the  woman  kneeleth  on  the 

The  other  slope,  bending  posture,  descending  is  onely  to  bee  used 
for  the  turning  of  the  child,  that  hath  a  great  head,  or  body,  or  to  help 
a  distorted  neck,  or  to  reduce  the  birth  to  a  more  commodious  way  for 
delivery,  as  in  the  birth,  where  the  arm  and  hand  first  commeth  forth. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


And  this  slope,  bending  posture,  descending,  is  no  longer  to  bee 
continued,  after  that  the  birth  is  altered,  and  the  feet  obtained,  and  brought 
forth,  but  the  woman's  head  is  to  bee  raised,  and  shee  to  bee  placed  in  a 
slope,  bending  posture,  ascending. 

And  then  the  rest  of  the  work  is  to  be  finished,  as  shee  kneeleth 
on  a  bolster,  in  this  slope,  bending  posture,  ascending. 

And  thus  have  I  set  forth  the  wayes,  that  I  have  used  for  the 
turning  of  the  birth,  as  also  for  the  helping  of  all  unnaturall  births,  and 
chiefly,  when  an  arm  is  first  proferred. 

And,  to  God's  glory,  and  honor,  I  do  affirm,  That,  taking  this 
course,  I  never,  to  my  remembrance,  lost,  or  endangered  any  infant,  nor 
much  disquieted  any  woman,  during  the  time  of  her  travaile. 

And  severall  midwives,  that  have  been  non-plust,  and  puzled  in 
this  birth,  for  whose  help  I  have  been  called,  by  others,  to  assist  the 
midwife,  when  that  shee  knew  not  what  to  do,  or  how  to  deliver  the 
woman,  will  testify  what  I  have  said,  and  performed,  to  bee  true. 

And  that  I  have  laid  the  woman  easily,  and  quickly,  that  had  been 
long  tortured  by  her  midwife  in  this  birth,  in  lesser  space,  then  half  a 
quarter  of  an  houre,  although  the  woman  had  no  pain,  or  throws,  to 
assist  nature  in  the  time  of  her  delivery. 

And,  where  the  midwife,  by  her  halings,  and  pullings  by  the 
child's  arme,  had  not  killed  the  infant  before  my  comming,  that  there  I 
have  saved  the  infant's  life,  and,  by  the  speedy  delivery,  have  freed  the 
woman  of  her  sufferings. 

And,  through  God's  gracious  assistance,  and  permission,  I  have 
brought  forth,  and  set  at  liberty  the  imprisoned  infant. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Both  armes 



But  midwives  may  object,  and  say;  How  will  the  arme,  or  armes 
bee  reduced,  that  hang  forth  before  the  birth,  if  that  you  will  not  permit 
us  to  put  them  up  ? 

I  answer  all  midwives  with  assurance,  and  reason  will  shew  the 

That,  as  the  buttocks  come  down,  the  back  turneth  round,  and, 
the  shoulders  go  up,  and,  by  this  circular  motion,  the  arme,  or  armes  go 
up  with  the  shoulders,  and  so,  of  themselves,  become  reduced,  and  lie 
again  close  to  the  sides,  without  any  enforcing  to  thrust  them  up. 

But,  if  midwives  will  not  bee  perswaded,  that  the  arme  will  reduce 
it  self,  it  shall  not  trouble  mee,  if  that  it  will  not  bee  reduced,  in  any 
birth  comming  by  the  feet. 

Tor,  not  being  reduced,  it  will  bee  a  meanes  to  keep  the  womb 
from  closing  about  the  child's  neck,  and  to  save  the  child's  life,  and  the 
neck  from  breaking,  as  Guillimeau  hath  testified,  with  Pareus,  and  as  it 
was  lately  happily  approved  in  Darby  Nov.  27,  3  669  in  W.  B. 

When  both  the  armes  come  down  before  the  birth,  with  the  hands 
stretched  over  the  head,  and  the  feet  straight  stretched  into  the  womb ; 

In  this  birth,  do  not  offer  to  drive  back  the  shoulders,  that  the 
infant  may  fall  again  back  into  the  womb ;  Also,  in  this  birth,  do  not 
force  up  the  armes  to  place  them  by  the  child's  sides, 

But  slide  up  your  anointed  hand,  and  seek  for  the  feet,  and  use 
the  same  way,  as  is  directed  in  the  seventh  scheme. 

So,  by  the  feet  of  the  child,  you  may  speedily,  and  safely  deliver 
the  woman,  as  I  have  shewed  in  my  practice,  although  the  woman  hath 
no  labour  or  throwes,  to  help  forward  the  delivery. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


When  the  child  commeth  with  his  buttocks  formost,  there  bee 
some  that  give  directions,  to  lift  up  the  fundament  of  the  child,  and  to 
turn  the  head  to  the  birth. 

But,  if  it  cannot  bee  turned  with  the  hand,  they  say,  That  then 
the  woman  must  be  brought  to  the  bed,  where,  by  often  rocking  to  and 
fro,  the  child  may  bee  brought  forth  by  the  head. 

Surely,  in  these  men's,  and  midwives  thoughts,  and  opinions, 
there  is  observed  some  occulta  qualitas  (which,  as  yet,  no  practicer  hath 
revealed)  in  the  tossing,  rolling,  or  rocking  of  the  labouring  woman  on 
the  bed,  for  the  turning  of  the  child  to  the  head,  or  to  a  better  forme. 
And,  untill  it  shall  be  revealed,  I  shall  interpret  it  to  bee  no  other  thing, 
then,  Sola  ignorantia  obstetricis. 

Eor  it  cannot  chuse,  but  that  it  will  bee  grievous  to  the  Avoman,  to 
have  her  self,  and  the  infant  thus  tossed,  and  violently  moved  from  the 
breech,  to  briug  downward  the  head  to  the  passage.  And  her  rolling, 
and  tumbling  on  the  bed  will  not  alter  the  birth. 

Wherefore,  to  lay  aside  all  these  disquieting  motions,  causing 
tortures,  let  the  midwife,  in  this  birth  of  the  buttocks,  slide  up  her 
anointed  hand  into  the  woman's  body,  as  shee  kneeleth  in  a  slope, 
bending  posture,  ascending. 

So  may  the  midwife  soon  meet  with  the  child's  feet,  and  after- 
j  ward  bring  them  forth,  without  any  violent  force,  to  the  orifice  of  the 
i  matrice. 

For  the  best,  and  surest  way  is,  to  draw  the  infant  forth  by  the 
feet,  and  so  shee  may  quickly  bee  delivered. 




Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Breast  or 



In  all  births  not  to  bee  seen,  but  must  bee  distinguished  by  the 
feeling  of  the  hand,  let  the  midwife  remember,  That  the  breast  is  hard, 
and  bony,  and  that  the  belly  is  smooth,  and  soft ;  let  her  follow  the 
softnes,  and  it  will  bring  her  to  the  thighes,  and  from  thence  shee  may 
easily  come  to  the  feet. 

When  the  infant  shall  fall  downe  upon  the  breast,  or  belly,  let  not 
the  midwife  enquire  after  the  armes  of  the  infant,  to  lay  hold  of  them, 
that  shee  may  bring  the  head  to  the  birth,  and  so  dispose  the  armes 
afterwards  to  the  sides ; 

Nor  bring  the  woman  to  the  bed,  to  tumble,  or  roll,  nThopes,  by 
this  delay,  the  infant,  perhaps,  may  accommodate  it  self  to  a  more  fit 
posture  for  the  birth. 

But  let  the  midwife  put  down  her  head  to  a  pillow,  placed  in  a 
woman's  lap,  and  then  to  put  her  right  hand  along  the  child's  thigh  (as 
Guillimeau  directeth)  to  find  one  of  the  feet,  which  being  found,  shee 
shall  cast  about  it  a  ribband  with  a  sliding  knot ;  then  shall  shee  seek 
for  the  other  foot,  and  bring  them  both  gently  to  the  passage,  and  so 
to  draw  the'  child  forth  by  the  feet,  taking  hold  of  them  with  a 
warme  napkin  between  her  hands.  Observing  alwayes,  that  the  child's 
face,  and  belly  bee  downwards,  that  is,  to  bee  turned  to  the  back  of  the 
woman,  for  fear  least,  when  the  shoulders  ~are  come  forth,  the  chin 
should  catch  on  the  share-bone. 

But  I  like  not  so  well  the  use  of  ribbands  to  bee  tied  to  the 
child's  ankles,  as  I  do,  to  fetch  the  feet  by  my  hand,  and  fingers.  I  have 
tried  both  wayes.  To  mee  the  hand  alone  was  ever  most  usefull,  and 
readiest  for  the  work. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


So  have  you  Guillirneau  in  the  first  place  using  ribbands,  which 
bee  troublesome ; 

And  my  practice,  by  my  hand,  and  fingers,  to  mee  easily  to  bee 
quickly  performed,  the  which,  with  good  successe,  I  have  oft  used,  and, 
in  so  doing,  have  frequently  saved  the  infants  lives,  and  suddenly  eased 
the  mothers  sufferings. 

When  the  child  commeth  with  both  the  hands  and  feet  together, 
it  is  impossible,  that  the  child  should  bee  born  in  this  posture. 

In  this  birth,  I  would  not  have  the  midwife  to  move  up  the  feet 
of  the  infant,  nor  to  handle  the  head,  to  bring  it  to  the  birth,  nor  to 
strive  to  bring  the  hands,  to  place  them  by  the  sides  of  the  child,  nor  to 
bring  her  to  the  bed,  to  tumble  her  with  rolling,  or  tossing.  Such 
doings  will  afflict  the  woman,  and  may  endanger  her  life. 

But  rather,  as  the  woman  kneeleth,  in  a  slope,  bending  posture, 
ascending,  leaning  with  her  hands  about  another  woman's  neck,  sitting 
afore  her, 

Let  the  midwife  come  behind  the  labouring  woman,  and  taking 
the  child's  feet  in  a  soft,  linen  cloth,  let  her  draw  down  the  child  gently 
by  the  feet. 

The  hands  of  the  child  will  both  return  by  this  drawing,  and  will 
go  up,  of  themselves,  into  the  woman's  body. 

Por,  as  the  child  turneth  round,  so  goeth  up  the  shoulders,  and 
both  the  hands  with  them,  and  come  placed  by  the  sides. 

And  it  is  Guillimeau's  opinion,  That  it  is  better,  whether  the 
child  bee  alive  or  dead  (if  hee  come  with  his  feet,  and  hands  formost)  that 
the  chirurgion,  or  midwife  bring  him  forth  by  the  feet,  then  to  turn  him, 
to  bring  his  head  formost. 

Hands  and 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

For,  in  this  striving,  the  mother  having  been  much  wearied,  and 
the  child  much  weakened,  the  delivery  (although  it  may  bee  brought  to 
a  naturall  birth  with  much  strugling)  will  prove  very  long,  and  difficult 
to  bee  performed,  in  regard,  that  neither  the  mother,  nor  the  child  have 
much  strength  left  them. 

Whereas,  if  you  draw  the  child  forth  by  the  feet,  neither  the 
mother,  nor  the  child  being  weakened,  the  birth  will  bee  more  easy  and 

And,  by  the  feet,  in  Darby,  and  near  to  Darby,  I  have  easily,  and 
quickly,  without  torturing,  laid  this  seeming  difficult  birth  very  happily, 
without  thrusting  up  either  the  hands,  or  the  feet. 

I  have  also  laid  this  birth,  where  but  one  leg,  and  one  arme  came 
forth  together ;  and  my  work  was  performed,  and  ended,  by  drawing  the 
infant  forth  by  the  feet. 


Guillimeau  saith,  when  the  child  offereth  to  come  into  the  world 
with  one,  or  both  his  feet  formost, 

The  chirurgion  (after  the  woman  is  placed)  having  his  hands 
anointed,  may  chuse,  whether  hee  will  draw  the  child  forth  by  the  feet, 
or  else,  if  hee  think  it  better,  to  put  back  one,  or  both  the  feet,  and  to 
turn  him,  and  bring  his  head  straight  to  the  passage. 

But  hee  concludeth,  and  thinketh,  That  the  better,  and  safer  way 
will  bee,  to  draw  him  forth  by  the  feet,  then  to  turn  him  upside  down, 
to  lift  his  feet  upwards,  thereby  to  bring  his  head  downwards  to  the 

All  difficult  births  bee  best  laid  by  the  feet. 

Peicivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


All  births,  comming  with  the  feet  forinost,  ever  lay  by  the  feet, 
and  do  not  thrust  back  the  feet,  to  alter  the  birth,  to  bring  it  to  the  head, 
least  that  you  make  a  worse  birth. 

In  all  births,  delivered  by  the  feet,  when  the  infant  is  drawn  to 
the  loines,  if  the  child's  face  bee  towards  the  belly,  and  navell  of  the 
mother,  turn  the  child's  body,  that  the  face  of  the  child  may  bee  set 
towards  the  back  of  the  mother. 

So  you  may  draw  him  forth  without  danger,  or  staying,  or  the 
head  catching  on  the  share-bone,  having  your  finger  in  the  child's 
mouth,  pressing  down  the  chin  at  the  instant  time  of  drawing  by  the 

It  cannot  alwayes  bee  perceived,  whether  there  bee  two  children 
at  once  in  the  womb. 

For  Guillimeau  affirmeth,  that  hee  was  at  the  delivery  of  an  honest 
woman,  who  brought  forth  two  children  at  a  birth  :  When  shee  was 
delivered  of  the  first,  the  midwife  (not  expecting  that  there  was  a  second 
child)  was  ready  to  draw  forth  the  after-burden,  but  was  staid  for  the 
present,  for  that  hee  perceived  another  child  to  offer  it  self  at  the  passage, 
which,  as  it  came  naturally,  so  shee  was  delivered  very  fortunately. 

Dr.  Sermon  hath  such  a  like  story  of  the  same  nature.    Fol.  133. 

But  grant,  that  either  of  these  midwives  had  drawn  away  the 
after-burden  before  the  second  child  had  been  born,  must  it  needs  have 
followed,  that  the  travailing  woman  would  have  been  ruinated  by  a  flux 
of  blood,  through  her  straining  to  bring  forth  the  second  child  ? 

I  would  not  have  any  midwife  to  hazard  such  a  danger,  although 
I  have  known,  that  no  mischief  did  follow  in  the  like  case,  and  that  the 
woman  lived,  and  did  well  recover. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 


If  it  should  so  fall  out,  that  the  twins  should  come  together,  one 
with  his  head,  the  other  with  his  heeles  formost, 

The  chirurgion  shall  consider,  which  of  the  two  children  the 
woman  may  bee  easiest  delivered  of. 

If  the  head  of  the  one  come  not  so  forward,  as  the  feet  of  the 
other,  it  will  bee  easiest  to  draw  forth  the  child  first,  that  commeth  by 
his  feet. 

But,  if  it  happen,  that,  in  the  delivery  of  the  first  by  the  feet,  that 
the  second  twin  shall  chang  his  situation,  that  then  the  chirurgion  shall 
look  after  the  feet,  and  draw  him  forth,  as  hee  did  the  former,  by  the 

If  the  head  of  the  first  bee  very  forward,  then  shall  hee  thrust 
back  the  feet  of  the  second,  to  give  way  to  the  other,  that  hee  may 
come  naturally. 

I  have  been  at  the  birth  of  severall  twins,  bedded  together  in  one 
secondine,  as  yet  I  never  found,  that  they  both  forced  their  way 
together,  neither  could  I  heare  it  from  any  midwife. 

But  I  observed,  that  they  ever  came  one  after  the  other,  with 
some  intermission  of  time,  as  a  quarter,  or  half  of  an  houre,  or  a  longer 
time  between. 

When  the  first  twin  is  born,  hee  must  bee  taken  from  between  his 
mother's  legs,  after  the  navel-string  is  tied,  and  to  tie  the  rest  of  the 
navel-string,  that  is  fastened  to  the  after- burden,  with  a  larg  and  strong 
string,  that  it  may  thereby  bee  the  easier  found,  and  drawn  forth 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


When  the  second  child  is  come  forth,  the  chirurgion,  or  midwife 
must  consider,  whether  there  bee  two  after-burdens,  or  but  one. 

Let  the  midwife  search  dilligently  the  after-burden,  when  that  shee 
hath  brought  it  forth,  whether  there  bee  two  navel-strings  in  that  after- 
burden,  or  but  one. 

If  there  bee  two  navelstrings  fixed  to  that  after-burden,  then 
both  the  twins  were  contained  in  that  secondine. 

But,  if  shee  find  but  one  navel-string  in  the  secondine,  then  shee 
must  search  for  a  second  after -burden  again,  for  that  the  twins  were 
included  in  severall  secondines. 

Dr.  James  Wolveridge  affirmeth,  although  there  bee  twins,  or 
more,  yet  there  is  but  one  placenta,  for  hee  saith,  so  many  navel-strings 
are  inserted  in  diverse  places,  as  there  are  young  ones.     Fol.  89. 

But  I  know  the  contrary,  and,  chiefly,  in  twins  of  severall  sexes, 
that  they  have  had  severall  secondines,  to  which  their  navel-strings  have 
been  inserted  in  the  womb. 

Pareus  saith,  That,  if  there  bee  twins,  and  both  of  one  kind,  as 
both  males,  or  both  females,  that  these  twins  bee  enfolded  in  one 
secondine,  and  I  have  seen  this  to  bee  true. 

But,  if  one  bee  a  male  infant,  and  the  other  a  female  infant,  that 
then,  hee  saith,  that  they  have  both  severall  secondines.  But  this  rule 
doth  not  alwayes  hold.  For  I  have  seen  it  otherwise,  and  that  both  the 
male,  and  female  infants  have  been  included  in  one  secondine,  and  I 
have  found  both  navelstrings  in  the  same  after-burden,  or  secondine,  a 
span's  distance  fixed  the  one  from  the  other. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

Therefore  let  the  midwife  search  the  secondine,  to  see  if  all  the 
navel-strings  bee  inserted  in  one  after  -burden,  before  shee  make  another 
searching  in  the  womb. 

Should  all  the  navel-strings  bee  inserted  into  one  placenta,  and, 
through  her  ignorance,  shee  should  seek  for  another  after- birth,  shee 
might  lacerate  the  womb,  and  so  ruinate  the  woman. 

Both  Pareus,  and  Guillimeau  advice  the  chirurgion,  that  if  there 
bee  twins  in  the  womb  at  once,  to  take  heed,  that  hee  take  not  of  either 
of  them  a  leg;  for,  by  drawing  of  them  so  both  forth  together,  hee 
should  profit  nothing  for  the  delivery,  but,  in  so  doing,  hee  would 
exceedingly  hurt  the  woman,  and  teare  the  children  both  asunder. 

Wherefore,  that  hee  may  not  bee  deceived,  Guillimeau  willeth, 
That,  when  hee  hath  drawn  out  one  foot,  and  tied  it  with  a  ribband,  and 
hath  put  it  up  again,  let  him,  with  his  hand,  follow  the  band,  wherewith 
the  foot  was  tied,  and  so  go  to  the  foot,  and  then  to  the  groin  of  the 
child,  and  then  from  thence  hee  may  find  out  the  other  foot  of  the  same 
child,  and  so  join  them  together. 

But  I  assure  myself,  that,  after  the  chirurgion,  or  midwife  hath 
drawn  forth  one  foot  with  his  hand,  that  it  will  bee  the  better  way,  to 
hold  the  foot  fast  in  a  linen  cloth,  and  to  draw  the  child  gently  by  the 
foot,  untill  hee  can  find  where  the  other  foot  resteth,  the  which  hee  may 
easily  draw  down  with  his  finger,  rather  then  to  tie  the  child's  feet  with 
ribbands,  which  proceedings  will  bee  troublesome,  both  to  the  mother, 
and  the  child. 

Guillimeau  saith,  That,  if  the  two  children  should  have  but  one 
body,  it  would  bee  a  more  easy,  and  safe  way,  to  turn  the  head 
upwards,  and  to  draw  him  forth  by  the  feet,  then  to  make  him  come 
forth  with  the  head  formost. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


Yet  this  is  but  his  opinion,  for  hee  concludeth,  in  the  22d 
chapter  of  his  second  book,  saying,  That  hee  was  never  present  at  this 
kind  of  delivery. 

Yet  my  thoughts  bee  fixed  to  his  opinion,  from  whence  wee  may 
gather  this  good  observation,  That  all  great  heads,  and  bodies,  with  all 
difficult  births,  may,  and  ever  will  bee  better  delivered  by  the  feet,  then 
possibly  they  can  bee  by  the  head. 

For,  when  the  head  first  approacheth  in  a  difficult  birth,  there  can 
nothing  bee  done  more,  then  to  anoint  the  body,  and  to  cause  sneezing, 
and  to  give  medicines  to  enforce  throwes. 

When  neither  anointing,  or  medicine,  or  the  midwife's  skill,  with 
enforcements,  prevailed,  then  I  have  been  sent  for,  and,  by  turning  the 
birth  from  the  head  to  the  feet,  I  have  oft  happily,  and  quickly  delivered 
the  woman. 

In  the  birth  of  twins,  if  either  of  them  come  down  with  an  arm, 
first  lay  that  twin,  comming  by  the  arme  (as  hath  been  directed  in  the 
seventh  scheme)  by  the  feet. 

If  it  come  by  a  foot,  follow  the  way  set  for  the  delivery  by  the 

If  by  the  head,  follow  the  directions  of  a  naturall  birth. 

If  the  second  child  be  weak,  and  continuing  strugling  in  the 
womb,  wanting  strength  to  break  the  membranes  enfolding,  and  keeping 
in  his  imprisoned  body,  let  the  midwife  slide  up  her  anointed  hand,  and 
break  the  bed,  and  draw  the  infant  forth  by  the  feet,  the  which  I  have 
severall  times  performed,  and,  in  so  doing,  I  have  saved  the  child's 
life,  which,  otherwise,  by  weaknes,  might  have  perished. 



Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 




It  hath  proved  unfortunate  to  severally  under  whose  hands  the 
women  have  perished,  and  it  is  not  used  in  England. 

Dr.  James  Primrose  holdeth  it  to  bee  a  rash  piece  of  work,  and 
to  do  it  in  a  living  woman,  a  practice  to  bee  abhorred. 

I  therefore  passe  it  over  with  silence,  being  unwilling  to  make  a 
dreadfull  noise  in  the  eares  of  women,  or  to  embolden  any  in  the  works 
of  cruelty. 

Yet  let  mee  not  leave  women  in  their  sufferings  comfortles,  with- 
out any  hope  of  cure,  for  that  I  beleeve  this  dreadfull  operation  may, 
without  cutting  the  mother's  side,  and  womb,  bee  better  performed,  and 
helped,  by  drawing  the  child,  if  it  bee  living,  by  the  feet;  if  it  bee  dead, 
by  the  crochet. 

For  I  have  delivered  severall  women  of  dead  children  by  my  hand, 
by  turning  the  birth  from  the  head  to  the  feet,  that  have  been  left 
comfortles  by  mid  wives,  and  their  friends ;  and  have  drawn  forth  the 
dead  children  by  my  hand,  the  which  I  could  not  do  by  the  crochet, 
although  it  was  conveniently  fastened  in  the  head. 

I  therefore  prefer  the  use  of  the  hancfbefore  the  crochet,  or  any 
other  instrument  whatsoever. 

I  could  wish,  that  all  men-mid -wives,  and  all  women -midwives 
would  make  triall  of  this  way,  as  I  have  done,  and  shall  pray,  that  this 
work  may  bee  as  happily  performed  by  them,  as  it  hath  been  approved 
by  mee,  by  the  hand  producing  the  infant  by  the  feet,  and  so  saving  the 
child's  life;  and  the  mothers,  with  their  children,  as  yet  living,  will 
beare  mee  witnes,  that  I  affirm  nothing  but  the  truth. 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


And,  for  that  there  bee  some  schemes,  differing  onely  a  little  in 
the  figure,  all  which  bee  laid  after  one  way,  I  thought  to  have  omitted 
some  of  them,  but  then  I  should  not  have  pleased  the  young  midwife, 
for  that  shee  would  have  thought  her  book  defective,  in  not  being 
furnished  with  all  the  schemes,  and  various  figures,  on  which  midwives 
look,  making  their  women  to  think  of  wonders,  by  shewing  them  these 
pictures  of  the  children,  assuring  them,  that,  by  these,  they  bee  directed, 
and  perfected,  aud  much  enlightened  in  the  way  of  midwifery. 

Therefore,  with  others,  I  have  set  forth  all  the  schemes,  with 
their  figures,  the  which  bee  observed  for  the  woman's  delivery. 

And,  in  these  unnaturall  births,  comming  by  the  feet,  let  mee 
perswade,  and  assure  midwives,  that  they  will  bee  best  laid,  as  the 
woman  kneeleth  on  a  bolster,  using  the  slope,  bending  posture, 
ascending,  as  it  commeth  by  the  feet. 

But  I  lie  difficult  births,  not  to  bee  seen,  must  bee  first  altered,  in 
a  slope,  bending  posture,  descending,  or,  otherwise,  the  labouring 
woman  will  bee  put  to  suffer  much  affliction  in  the  delivery. 

As  in  these  births,  where  the  head,  and  body  bee  too  great  for 
the  passage ;  or  when  the  infant  offereth  to  come  with  a  distorted,  or 
crooked  neck;  And  to  these  may  bee  added  the  birth,  which  cometh 
thrusting  forth  first  an  arme,  or  armes. 

For  the  births,  comming  by  the  belly,  back,  or  side,  or  with 
bending  knees,  or  hands,  with  feet,  or  the  buttocks,  these  bee  of  a 
middle  nature,  between  these  extremes,  and  difficultnesses,  for  the 
delivery,  and  may  bee  laid,  either  the  ascending,  or  descending  posture, 
by  the  midwife,  accordingly  as  each  scheme  hath  his  peculiar  direction. 

And,  therefore  to  satisfie  the  young  practicing  midwife,  I  have 
set  forth  all  the  severall  births,  with  their  schemes. 




1:      2: 


Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

And,  in  so  doing,  I  have  multiplied  words,  and  made  repetitions, 
not  knowing  how  to  avoid  them,  for  satisfying  their  desires. 

And  if,  in  so  doing,  I  have  offended  the  learned,  I  would  that  all 
superfluities  might  bee  pared  off  by  some  judicious  practicer,  to  the 
content  of  all  readers. 

Yet  I  must  intreat  their  favours,  for  the  present,  to  passe  over 
this  fault  (if  it  should  bee  so  thought)  and  the  rather,  for  that  this 
work  was  not  intended  for  them  (being  too  weake  to  improve  their 
knowledge)  but  for  the  simple  beginner,  the  new,  ignorant  midwife, 
though  aged  in  yeares,  yet  a  young  novice  for  practice,  inhabiting  the 
countrey,  and  dweDing  in  obscure,  remote  places,  destitute  of  all  able 
helps  to  assist  her.  Where  the  old  midwife  can  shew  her  nothing  more, 
then  how  to  receive  the  child,  comming  in  a  naturall  birth,  which,  with- 
out her  company,  or  assistance,  would,  sometimes,  sooner,  and  easier, 
without  any  halings,  or  enforcings  of  the  woman's  body,  bee  bom,  by 
the  sole  help  of  nature,  with  little,  or  small  trouble. 

And  this  Opusculum,  or  the  midwife's  vade  mecum  (which  is, 
and  ever  was  my  way  of  practice)  let  the  country  midwife  take  thankfully 
for  her  use,  to  help,  and  direct  her  endeavours,  untill  shee  can  get  better 
wayes,  and  directions  from  judicious  practicers,  or  from  her  own  experience. 

So  God  alone,  that  doth  all  things,  and  helpeth  women  in  the 
need  Ml  time  of  labouring,  and  in  bringing  forth  of  children, 

To  him  bee  given  all  honour,  praise,  and  glory,  for  his  great 
blessings,  and  mercies,  in  the  preserving  of  mankind,  as  also  all  his 
creatures,  by  whose  gracious  favour,  and  goodnes  wee  live,  move,  and 
have  our  beings. 

Therefore,  let  every  one  give  thanks,  and  let  all,  that  hath  breath, 
praise  the  Lord — For  his  mercy  endureth  for  ever,  and  is  daily  seen  in 
all  his  works,  in  the  continuation,  and  preservation  of  them. 

Peicivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


The  Table. 

All  births  produced  either  by  the  head,  or  feet  -  -  -  -304 
To  prepare  women  for  travaile               -                                          304 — 5 

Labouring  woman's  chamber  -  305 
Midwife  not  to  meddle  till  nature  call  -  -  305—6—7—8 
No  medicines  to  labouring  woman  to  cause  throwes  unles 

nature  faint,  and  that  towards  the  end  of  the  travaile  306 

Auctours  on  midwifery  follow  one  another          -         -         -  306 

Pallet-bed  best  for  weak  women,  a  bolster  for  the  strong  307 

Delivery  without  midwives              -         -         -         -         -  307 

The  longer  the  birth  retained,  the  more  succesfull  the  deliverv  308 

When  to  call  the  midwife  to  ede  -  -  -  -  -  308 
Delivery  of  a  naturall  birth        -----             30 8 — 9 

The  woman's  posture  when  the  birth  is  to  be  turned  -         -  309 

In  false  conceptions  and  abortments  nature  the  best  midwife  310 

All  unnaturall  births  to  bee  delivered  by  the  feet        -         -  810 

What  a  naturall,  what  unnaturall  birth         -  1 

Delivery  in  a  naturall  birth  by  the  head    -          -         -         -  312 

Midwife's  office  in  this  birth      -         -         -         -         .  312 

Delivery  of  a  birth  where  the  head  and  body  is  too  great      -  313 

Delivery  of  a  birth  comming  with  a  crooked  neck            -  313 

Guillimeau's  way  of  delivering         -         -         -         -         .  314 

The  foregoing  birth  disallowed 315 

The  child's  face  in  all  births  by  the  feet  must  bee  toward  its 

mother's  back          -.-.._.  316 

To  get  away  the  after-birth  -  -  -  -  -  .  31 6 
To  lay  the  birth  comming  with  the  feet  forward,  and  hands 

stretched  downward  to  the  sides     -         -         -         -  317 

344  Observations  in  Midwifery,  by 

To  lay  the  birth  comming  with  the  feet  forward,  and  the 

hands  lifted  up  above  the  head  -         -         -         -  318 

To  lay  the  birth  comming  with  one  foot  onely,  and  the  armes 

let  down  to  the  sides    ------  319 

To  lay  the  woman  when  the  infant  lyeth  crosse  the  womb,  on 

its  side  or  back,  with  hands  and  feet  upwards        -  320 
To  lay  the  birth  with  armes  and  legs  distorted,  which  it  is 

questionable  whether  it  ever  was     -         -                   -  321 
To  lay  the  birth  when  infant  comes  with  the  knees  bent;  and 

hands  hanging  to  thigh es  or  sides       -         -          -  321 

Cruelty  of  midwives  in  birth  comming  witli  armes       -         -  321 
What  late  auctors  advice  in  the  foregoing  birth     -         -            322,  &c. 

Arm  fixed  in  the  neck  of  the  womb  how  to  bee  loosed          -  325 

The  Auctor's  way  in  the  last  birth       ...         -  325 

How  the  child's  feet  lie  in  the  womb        -  327 
To  know  the  parts  of  the  infant's  body  in  the  womb       -         326 — 332 

How  to  hold  the  child's  foot            -  332 
Slope  bending  postures  ascending  and  descending  when  to 

bee  used        -                            -         -                   -  328 

Birth  by  both  the  armes '        -         -         -         -         -         -  330 

Birth  by  the  buttocks       -                   -                  -  331 

Hocking  and  rolling  the  woman       -         -         -         -         -  331 

Birth  by  the  breast  or  belly        -         -  ,       -         -         -  332 

Birth  by  both  the  hands  and  feet     -----  333 

Birth  by  the  feet      -                                                         -  334 

Twins,  the  way  of  delivering  them  -          -         -         -         -  ,335 

No  twins  forced  their  way  at  once       ...          -  336 

The  time  between  them          -         -         -         -         -         -  336 

Percivall  Willughby,  Gentleman. 


To  know  whether  two  after-burdens  in  the  birth  of  twins  337 

Chiefly  twins  of  severall  sexes  have  either  of  them  a  secondine  337 

When  second  child  in  twins  is  weak,  what  to  do  339 

Csesarean  section      ------  340 

Instead  thereof  to  draw  the  infant  by  the  feet    -  340 
What  births  to  bee  laid  by  the   ascending,  what  by   the 

descending  posture        -          -  -  -  341 

Apology  for  tautologies     -  -  342